Does Domestic Abuse Increase When the England Football Team Plays?

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A study based on the Football World Cup, published in 2013, does seem to support the theory that domestic abuse rises when the England Football team plays, regardless of whether they win, lose or draw.

Although there was an increase in reported domestic abuse win, lose or draw, the biggest increase of 38% was when England lost compared to 26% when they either won or drew.

In data from the Office of National Statistics, it’s thought that just over 6% of all adults from 16 to 59 have suffered from domestic abuse in England and Wales in 2018 (these are the most up to date figures).

Based on these figures, it’s likely that some people will be worried about what England’s game in the semi-finals of the Euros tonight against Denmark will mean for them.

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A Personal Insight Into Domestic Abuse

David Lister, a Family Lawyer and Head of Family Law talked about his own experiences growing up:

“As someone who grew up in a household where domestic violence was a feature, I’ve experienced first-hand the impact it can have upon families and particularly children. It takes only a moment for a tense situation to turn into something far more serious.”

“The aftermath of domestic abuse can often be as bad, if not worse, than the moment it takes place for all concerned.”

“When I was 10, my own mother was pushed through a glass door and refused to seek medical attention, I sat up with her through the night until the early hours before I took myself off to school.”

“Our team represent people in need of protective injunctions and also those facing allegations, who also need support and representation.”

“The key thing is to leave the kicking off to the players. We all want England to win, but losing the match isn’t half as bad as losing your family.”

Some Practical Strategies

David was keen to give some practical strategies to anyone who is worried about what they might face tonight, or worried that they might lose their temper because of the outcome of the game. 

These are a few practical ways to reduce the danger of domestic abuse happening tonight.

  • Invite friends over so there is a group of people - people tend to behave better.
  • Set up a separate area for watching the football, if there’s space. Perhaps the garden or the garage, away from where children might be sleeping.
  • Alcohol is often be a contributor.  Limit what is available, or choose low alcohol drinks.
  • Spend the evening apart. One of you could stay with family and use it as a chance to catch up with people you’ve not seen.
  • Arrange to take a time out, after the game.  It could be as simple as going for a walk to burn off some steam.

Getting Help

Hopefully this can give you a few ideas on how to manage tonight’s game, but if you do need help and support, you can contact Refuge on their 24 hour National Domestic Abuse Hotline on 0808 2000 247, Women’s Aid where you can live chat with an advisor, Men’s Advice Line on 0808 8010 327 or Man Kind on 01823 334 244.

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