Domestic Violence Surge in England after Euro 2020
Domestic violence is on the rise across United Kingdom (UK) and the cases go up significantly when the England national football team is in action. Football is a semi-religion for many in the UK, which houses one of the best private football leagues in the world in the form of the English Premier League (EPL). While football brings out passion among fans, there is a dark side to the passion.
In 2018, at the time of the last World Cup, the UK’s National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV) highlighted a sobering statistic and released a confronting image.
It shows the face of a woman bleeding from her nose, with the blood-forming the Saint George’s Cross — the national flag of England.
The picture was designed to show that when the national team plays, domestic violence in England increases by 26 per cent. If England loses, the figure is even higher — DV surges by 38 per cent.
A study published on July 4 from the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) found that after the final whistle, domestic abuse incidents grow by 5% every two hours, peaking at about 8.5% more incidents than average ten hours after the game started.
“I also knew that if the guys in the pub, if they lost a match, I knew their wives wouldn’t be out at the weekend, because they’d have a black eye…or busted ribs or something like that, I just knew,” one woman is quoted as saying in the research paper.
Domestic abuse charities said the sole responsibility was always with abusers. However, they are running campaigns with sports bodies to address the issue. “Football does not cause domestic abuse – abusers do. We do know, however, that football games and a related increase in alcohol consumption can exacerbate existing domestic abuse – in both frequency and intensity,” said Farah Nazeer, chief executive at Women’s Aid. “The idea that fewer earlier games could act as a solution to abuse is deeply concerning. We need to address the structural sexism and misogyny that underpin violence against women and girls if we are to tackle domestic abuse.”
For information on what to do if you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, go to the National Centre for Domestic Violence‘s website for UK-based resources or Chayn HQ for support across the world. You can also contact the Refuge freephone 24-hour national domestic abuse helpline: 0808 2000 247 or visit nationaldahelpline.org.uk
Written by Ruth Jane