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Martin incident forces review of AFL's respect and responsibility policy

Peter Ryan  January 14, 2016 3:47 PM

AFL 2015 Training - Richmond 111215

Tiger Dustin Martin was given a suspended $5000 fine by the club over an alleged threat against a woman

THE AFL will review the way it deals with allegations of intimidating, threatening or violent behaviour towards women in the wake of the Dustin Martin incident.

CEO Gillon McLachlan said the organisation wanted to ensure the processes in place were appropriate when allegations such as the one made in December against the Richmond midfielder occurred.

Martin was accused of physically intimidating and threatening a woman in a St Kilda restaurant while drunk but both a police and an AFL investigation failed to find evidence to support the allegation.

On Thursday, he was handed a suspended $5000 fine by Richmond.

The club said it issued the fine because of Martin's unprofessional behaviour and intoxication.

McLachlan said it was timely to review the way the AFL handled such reports and when they referred a matter to police.

"We need to make sure we feel that at every instance, women feel comfortable coming forward [and] that our processes for handling it and when we refer to police and how we deal with it [are suitable]," McLachlan said.

"This incident has given us the opportunity to review that."

Victorian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commissioner Kate Jenkins will oversee a review of relevant AFL policies and process, including the AFL respect and responsibility policy introduced in 2005.

"The AFL takes any allegation of intimidation or threats or violence against women incredibly seriously," McLachlan said.

The AFL was criticised for not immediately referring the woman's complaint to police although McLachlan said on Thursday the matter was referred within 24 hours.

"If we think there is a serious allegation, I think we clearly need to go to the police," McLachlan said.

He said the industry needed to continually learn and improve the way such matters were handled.

"We encourage anyone who feels they have been intimidated or threatened to come forward at all times,” he said.