Domestic abuse incidents could rise by as much as 38% during the World Cup

Written by Amy Beecham

A new campaign from Women’s Aid reminds us that while football doesn’t cause domestic violence, existing abuse can intensify around events like the World Cup.

A chilling new campaign from domestic abuse charity Women’s Aid has highlighted the increased frequency and severity of existing domestic abuse during major football tournaments such as the World Cup.

Releasing a short film and series of St George’s Cross billboards, which feature alternative footballing slogans such as ‘He’s Coming Home’, the charity hopes to raise awareness of the fear many women face at a time when existing domestic violence incidents have been known to rise by as much as 38%.

The film shows a street of houses watching an England match, as flags of support fly outside. When the team loses, the anger and frustration of the fans appears to rise, before the camera homes in on a single house with the “He’s Coming Home” flag appearing on it.

“1.6 million women experiencing domestic abuse need your support too,” the final text reads.

“There is a role to play for everyone in helping to end domestic abuse, and raising awareness of the support available during major tournaments like the upcoming World Cup can help many women living with abusive partners,” said Farah Nazeer, chief executive of Women’s Aid.

“While domestic abuse is not caused by football, we know existing abuse can become more severe or frequent during big tournaments. We ask everyone to help share this important campaign at a time when many women need to know how to get support.” 

In the UK, the domestic violence helpline is 0808 2000 247. Alternatively, contact Women’s Aid, Solace or Refuge for advice and support. 

Images: Women’s Aid/Getty

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