Abby Bishop and the WNBL tackle violence against women

Domestic violence. Violence against women. Abusive relationships.

These are not topics to be taken lightly, but tragically they still exist. Conversations need to be had and preventative measures need to be taken to eliminate these issues that plague the lives of many once and for all.

The WNBL has made itself synonymous with supporting social movements over the years, and in their 40th season that proud tradition has carried on in a strong way just 7 rounds in.

We’ve seen the Perth Lynx and Wildcats get behind breast cancer awareness with their one-off pink uniforms. Last week the Adelaide Lightning wore a pride outfit for their clash against the Melbourne Boomers, while the Townsville Fire sold inspirational t-shirts with slogans to empower women in their outing against the Southside Flyers. The Boomers also continue to support Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision in their annual Purple Power fixture.

These are all wonderful examples of how much the WNBL as a collective is actively supporting the community, and there’s no stopping there.

For rounds 7 and 8 of the WNBL20 season, the entire league is gearing up to rally behind ‘Orange the World’ in tandem with UN Women Australia during 16 days of activism against gender-based violence.

https://twitter.com/WNBL/status/1195888032785850370

The league has called on everyone to inundate the games with their best and brightest orange gear in a bid to create awareness and spark conversations about domestic violence, helping spread the word and create supportive networks for those who may be subject to abuse.

It was announced last week that Townsville Fire star Abby Bishop would be recognised as the official WNBL ambassador for 'Orange the World', and she says the league does a terrific job of utilising its status as a leader in Australian women's sport.

“We’re all going to be decked out in orange, we’re calling for prevention and elimination of domestic violence," explained Bishop in speaking with The Pick and Roll. "I think Lauren Jackson is doing an amazing job to implement these themed rounds.

“We have this platform for a reason, and it’s our responsibility as athletes to bring light to these issues. It just goes to show we really are a world class league and heading in the right direction.”

It’s a call to action which Bishop has seen before but cannot get enough of, as the league continues to grow and make leaps and bounds off the court and in the heart of our communities.

“I’ve been around the league long enough to have seen this support before, and it’s really important for us as athletes to rally together and get behind it.

“All our fans and supporters see all the highs and lows on the court, but not often do they see us off the court as humans, getting behind movements like this and being supportive of one another.”

Bishop was always going to get behind 'Orange the World', advising that her status as an athlete bears not only the option, but the responsibility of helping shed light on issues impacting the community such as domestic violence.

“People have asked if I’ve experienced domestic violence, and I haven’t, but I know people who have. I hear so many stories on the news about women who suffer, and it absolutely breaks my heart.

“I’ve said before it was absolutely a no-brainer. Being an ambassador requires me to be passionate, and I absolutely am, I want to get conversations going and I want to see change. There’s heaps of ways we can be supportive, even if you can’t get down to the games. There’s a text message initiative where you can text ‘LIGHT’ to 0497 222 444, to donate $5 directly to UN Women Australia.

“Let’s get chatting, let’s educate people and let’s help eliminate gender-based violence.”

The WNBL has made fantastic use of its platform, continually championing for change across various issues season after season.

There’s so much more to life than sport, and we all deserve to live the very best lives that’s in store for us. It makes us proud to be fans of a league who truly cares.