Prior to the implementation of current Covid-19 restrictions, several Cliftonville players, staff and Club officials took part in a pilot course as part of the ‘Raise Your Voice’ project.
Tackling sexual harassment and sexual violence across Northern Ireland through working in the community, this programme focuses on increading public awareness and educating organisations on best practice.
“Cliftonville were pleased to get directly involved with this project,” said Reds Chairman Gerard Lawlor.
“As this project is rolled out across all sports, it will form an important resource for all clubs and organisations to utilise. We were delighted to work in conjunction with the team at Raise Your Voice in helping to develop their project for sporting organisations and we look forward to continuing to work with them as the programme develops.”
Anne McVicker, from Raise Your Voice, stated: “A major part of our Raise Your Voice project was to listen to women and girls about their experiences of sexual harassment and share the impacts of this with men and boys. We have been working with Cliftonville for over a year to develop our training for men and boys and hosted workshops on sexual harassment and consent to a number of their board, staff, management, coaches and first team players.
“Working with Cliftonville, we have been able to develop our training for sporting establishments and address the sexual harassment that has sadly been normalised in our society. It is an innovative project and the feedback was positive.”
One participant explained “It helped me clearly understand how it (sexual harassment) can be identified” and “I learnt more about sexual harassment – stuff I didn’t know or think about – it has opened my eye”
Helen Crickard, who is also involved in the project, commented: “When Cliftonville contacted us, they genuinely wanted to learn and we found the board and staff very accommodating and committed to the project.
“They wanted to be informed and take part in a journey of learning that has been very beneficial for developing our training and for the club. But this is not a one-off action and we continue to work with Cliftonville and other sporting establishments to ensure we create the cultural change needed to erode sexual harassment in our society.”