Fear of an increase in domestic abuse during the World Cup

After all of the hype the World Cup has finally kicked off in Brazil. Media attention has not only focused on England’s performance but the connection between football and domestic abuse. During the last World Cup in 2010 the police recorded 353 incidents of domestic abuse on the day England were knocked out by Germany. In addition to this, almost 6,000 calls were made to the police; this is a 43% increase on the average calls made over a 24-hour period for a typical Sunday in June.

A study by Dr Stuart Kirby and Professor Brian Francis of Lancaster University published last week considered police reports of domestic violence during the last three World Cups in 2002, 2006 and 2010. In one police force incidents of physical violence increased by 26% when England won and 38% when they lost. The study also reported that there was a carry-over effect, with an 11% rise in cases of domestic abuse the day after a match. While domestic violence rose after each England game, incidents also increased in frequency at each new tournament, raising fears that the 2014 competition in Brazil could see the highest ever World Cup-related rises in domestic violence across the UK.

High profile campaigns (including on social media) have been set up by Police forces and other agencies across the country to prevent violence in the home during England’s World Cup matches. This includes the police issuing warnings to perpetrators with a history of domestic abuse against partners.

At the same time Women’s Aid have launched a new campaign called ‘Football United Against Domestic Violence’, they work with national footballing bodies, sports media, football clubs, the police, players and fans to send a clear message that domestic violence is always unacceptable and battle the sexist attitudes that underpin abuse against women.

The Metropolitan police say “large sporting events and alcohol, both separately and combined, often provide a convenient excuse for domestic abuse. The blame, however, lies solely with the violent individual who has made the decision to abuse their partner or family members”.

If you are suffering from domestic abuse our accredited Domestic Violence solicitors work closely with other local agencies and provide advice on all of the options open to you.Through One Stop Shops TV Edwards’ solicitors provide free legal advice on domestic abuse at Tower Hamlets, Merton and Kingston upon Thames. For more information on specialist legal advice available on Domestic Abuse please click here.