Portsmouth abuse charity braced for surge in calls over violence to partners of football lovers as Euro 2020 tournament set to begin
A DOMESTIC abuse charity is braced for a surge in calls from partners of football lovers as Euro 2020 kicks off on Friday a year late after being delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Portsmouth charity Stop Domestic Abuse has joined forces with Hampshire County Council’s campaign to ‘blow the whistle on domestic abuse’ during the summer tournament.
Research by Lancaster University has revealed domestic violence against partners and children increased during national football tournaments with incidents rising by 38 per cent if England lost.
Even after an England victory, incidents of abuse rose by 26 per cent - highlighting the danger some partners of football fans could be in.
The campaign will share messages on each of England’s games as well as the quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final to raise awareness of domestic abuse and to encourage victims to report abuse and access support services.
The charity says football does not cause domestic abuse, but ‘alcohol consumption and high emotion environments can result in abuse and violence’.
The lifting of coronavirus restrictions and hot weather are other factors that can ‘point to a significant increase in domestic abuse’.
With this, Stop Domestic Abuse is preparing for an increase in referrals and calls to its advice line in the coming weeks.
Claire Lambon, chief executive of the charity, said: ‘Being able to celebrate football alongside the easing of lockdown restrictions is a milestone for us all after the past year.
‘We are now at a stage where we can socialise again, and football is a fantastic way to bring families and communities together. Sadly, services like ours anticipate an increase in demand.
‘During this time, emotions can run high, but it is by no means an excuse to abuse your partner. It is important that domestic abuse services remind victims of abuse that there is help and support available.
‘Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse, including children. If you are experiencing abuse, we urge you not to suffer in silence, you can contact our advice line or use the live chat function via our Facebook page.’
If you are expiring domestic abuse, call the Hampshire Domestic Abuse Advice Line on 03300 165 112. In an emergency call 999.