Win or Lose, World Cup Domestic Violence Needs to End


Women's charities up and down the country will be launching campaigns against domestic violence as the start of the World Cup looms. Women's Aid is ahead of the pack, working with the Premier League to address sexist attitudes and what underpins them. But, what causes domestic violence?

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Spike in Domestic Violence Cases

Research conducted by Dr Stuart Kirby of Lancaster University found that even when England won, domestic violence went up by 26% in Lancashire, rising by a worrying 38% when they lost. He analysed figures from the 2002, 2006 and 2010 World Cups. It has been predicted that England's first match against Italy will see the highest ever World Cup related rise in domestic violence based on previous statistics. This has prompted an 'all hands on deck' approach to stop the violence before it begins.

Research done on a national scale also showed an increase in domestic violence reports by 27.7% during the last World Cup when England won a match, and nearly 32% when they lost.

Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh of the Essex Police commented that "drink", "emotional stress of the game", "competitiveness, and testosterone levels" are a mixture of factors that may affect whether or not domestic violence takes place. However, according to Women's Aid these are all just a cover for the perpetrator to shirk their responsibility and avoid owning up to their behaviour. They believe the cause is "far more deep rooted".

New Campaigns and Getting Help

Police forces up and down the country are using this information to pro-actively prevent the onset of domestic violence in the coming weeks and over the football tournament. Not only are they targeting previous perpetrators, but they want to prevent people committing domestic abuse for the first time. We recently covered a story from the BBC that showed on average, 9 people, 7 women and 2 men, are killed by a partner every month in England and Wales due to domestic violence.

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, has also spoken out as part of an official campaign, firmly telling perpetrators "get help… or face the consequences" - a strong message for a serious cause. The charity Respect will be working with the government to run campaigns on the Sky Sports website and in pubs and bars across England.

There are measures you can take to protect you and your child if you are a victim of domestic abuse – physical or otherwise.

Non-molestation and occupation orders can keep you and any children you have safe from domestic violence this World Cup season. They can keep your perpetrator away from you, your house and your children for a specified period of time determined by a judge and enforced by the law if the terms are broken.

A "kick about" should refer to the game, not you. Don't wait for something more serious to happen before you take action.

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