Domestic abuse expected to increase during the World Cup

Somerset County Council is urging people experiencing domestic abuse to seek help, at a time when incidents of domestic abuse are expected to rise.

Data published by the National Centre for Domestic Violence highlights that incidents of Domestic Abuse increase by 26 percent if England play, 38 percent if England lose, and 11 percent the next day, win or lose.

As the England football team progress in the tournament, with another intense game expected on Saturday (10 December), the domestic abuse service is expecting an increase in incidents – often being fuelled by emotional stress, drinking alcohol and betting before and during matches.

Cllr Adam Dance, Somerset County Council Lead Executive Member for Public Health, said: “There is no excuse for domestic abuse. It is important to understand that watching football doesn’t cause abuse, but it often triggers incidents of abusive behaviour in relationships where domestic abuse is happening.

“Our domestic abuse support service, Somerset Integrated Domestic Abuse Service, is available to help and advise anyone who is experiencing domestic abuse with support tailored to each individual’s needs.

“There is also a support programme for anybody who thinks their actions towards someone are abusive and who have a desire to change that behaviour.”

Domestic abuse is defined as ‘any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality’.

It is estimated that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime. No one wants England to win more than someone experiencing domestic abuse – for them the World Cup can be a time of fear and anxiety anticipating an incident of domestic abuse, but help is available:

If you are experiencing domestic abuse, worried about someone you know, or are concerned about the impact of your behaviour towards others, then help is available: www.somersetsurvivors.org.uk or by telephoning 0800 49 69 999.

In an emergency you should always dial 999, if you are worried that an abuser may overhear your call you can remain silent and dial 55 for help.