Police, charities and football clubs are working together to raise awareness of the link between the World Cup and domestic violence.
Unfortunately, when England play in the World Cup instances of domestic violence rise. Women’s Aid, a charity dedicated to assisting women who are victims of domestic violence, received 30 per cent more calls from women suffering domestic violence during the last World Cup in 2010. On the day that England were knocked out by Germany the police recorded 353 incidents of domestic abuse and almost 6,000 calls were made to police – a 43 per cent increase on the average number over a 24-hour period for a typical Sunday in June.
This year, Women’s Aid has teamed up with the Premier League and BT Sport to launch a new campaign ‘Football United Against Domestic Violence’.
The new campaign aims to work with football clubs, organisations, players and fans to help raise awareness of domestic violence and the sexist attitudes that underpin abuse against women.
Police forces across the UK are also preparing for the increase in rates of domestic violence during the World Cup. Forces in Essex, Manchester and Northumbria have all set up their own World Cup task forces to ensure that fans can enjoy England’s matches safely throughout the tournament.
Football United Against Domestic Violence
Polly Neate, the Chief Executive of Women’s Aid explained the new campaign:
“The footballing community is of course a massive cross-section of society, made up of both the good and the bad. However, we also know that it is often the minority that we hear the loudest, and this is why it is so important that everyone else speaks out.
“This is why we are currently working with a number of partners within football, including the Premier League, to – excuse the pun – tackle abusive behaviour and attitudes towards women, both within the context of the footballing world and in society more generally.
“We have thought long and hard about continuing the partnership, and we have come to the conclusion that walking away won’t achieve anything. We will work with the Premier League to develop workplace policies that directly address sexism and violence against women, and we are aiming to have real long-term impact in the football community through our campaigning work.”
You can read more about the Football United Against Domestic Violence campaign, as well as how to get involved on the Women’s Aid website, below.
About Women’s Aid…
Women’s Aid is the national domestic violence charity that co-ordinates and supports an England-wide network of over 300 local services working to end domestic violence against women and children. Keeping the voices of survivors at the heart of its work, Women’s Aid campaigns for better legal protection and services, providing a strategic “expert view” to government on laws, policy and practice affecting abused women and children.
In partnership with its national network, Women’s Aid runs public awareness and education campaigns, bringing together national and local action, and developing new training and resources. Women’s Aid provides a package of vital 24 hour lifeline services through its publications (available in 11 languages including English), websites (www.womensaid.org.uk and www.thehideout.org.uk), and running the Freephone 24 Hour National Domestic Violence Helpline in partnership with Refuge. Women’s Aid is a registered charity no 1054154.
0808 2000 247: Freephone 24 Hour National Domestic Violence Helpline (run in partnership between Women’s Aid and Refuge).
The Women’s Aid Website can be found at: www.womensaid.org.uk. This is a comprehensive website about domestic violence and its impact on women and children. The website has help sections for women experiencing domestic violence, as well as policy briefings and research findings. Women’s Aid also runs a website for children and young people experiencing domestic violence www.thehideout.org.uk