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The dark side of the beautiful game

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Hands Med

It’s that time again, and pretty soon every other car you pass will be fluttering with little flags. The World Cup is on, the sweepstakes have been set, and football fans across the globe are gearing up to root for their favourite teams. At the same time, tens of thousands of women in Britain are bracing themselves for something entirely different.

Incidents of domestic abuse don’t just go up a little bit during the World Cup, they soar. In one area, violent incidents increased by 38% when England lost a game. If you’re thinking that maybe it will all be ok as long as the team do well, think again – even when England win, incidents still rise by nearly a third.

Lancaster University has monitored reports of domestic abuse for the last three World Cups and has seen the numbers jump higher and higher each time. If the pattern holds true, this World Cup looks set to be the worst one yet for victims of domestic abuse.

The situation has become so dire that police are being told to plan for the surge in domestic violence in much the same way as they plan for other public order problems like fights in city centres. In fact, all services that deal with issues relating to domestic abuse are encouraged to have extra measures in place between Friday 14 June and Monday 16 July.

If you or someone you know is at risk, contact Radian Direct on 0300 123 1567, the Police on 101 or the National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247. Always call 999 in an emergency. Remember, don’t suffer in silence.