COMMENT: Not such a beautiful game for abuse victims

It's the date football fans spend four years waiting to come around.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 14th June 2018, 7:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 4:46 pm

And for many of the millions who will be watching, even those who usually don’t take an interest in the beautiful game, it inspires hope, patriotism, and a sense of belonging.

But some people simply dread the month-long tournament because they know what it means for them – abuse.

Hampshire Constabulary has confirmed there will be 10 extra police officers on duty, in response vehicles, ready to react to domestic violence incidents once the World Cup begins.

That’s because research shows that incidents of domestic abuse dramatically increases following England matches – whether they win or lose.

Pictures of grown men and women crying into their beer after yet another England defeat are par-for-the-course during the competition.

And it’s natural to be disappointed and angry when your team let you down.

But police say the situation for many partners is that that frustration is brutally taken out on them, behind closed doors.

Our health editor Ellie Pilmoor spoke to a victim who said her partner would drink and show off with friends then come home and attack her.

She said just knowing this extra support from Hampshire Constabulary was there would encourage other victims to speak out.

The World Cup is the most exciting, prestigious sporting competition.

And yet for many victims, the final whistle sparks fear.

And there is an anxious wait for that key in the front door which will herald drunken abuse and violence.

By putting on these extra resources – which includes visiting and supporting known victims – the police will hopefully reduce the staggering number of incidents seen during previous World Cups.