‘It’s coming home. It’s coming home. It’s coming. Football’s coming home’ – Radio stations are blasting this popular 1996 hit; everywhere you go, people are humming it. Across England, football fans are in celebratory mood, as the England team – (surely you have heard?) – has reached the final of Euro 2020, repeating the achievement from the last World Cup 2018. To people obsessed with football, these are incredible times.
For most of us football is a perfect way to bring friends and communities together. For some, however, these heady times sadly will coincide with a higher risk of them suffering from domestic abuse. During the Football World Cup 2018, various campaigns were launched to show the link between football and domestic abuse. Slogans like ‘show abuse the red card’ or ‘no one wants England to win more than women’ were circulating online.
Some charities disagreed with the connection of domestic abuse with football, arguing that football tournaments were being used as a “justification” for the increase in domestic abuse. Back then, some charities complained that such slogans implied that only men could be the perpetrators of domestic abuse, when this is far from the truth. Since then, further studies have shown the link between the consumption of alcohol and the increase of domestic abuse incidents. Statistics provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) show that roughly 55% of domestic abuse perpetrators were drinking alcohol prior to the abuse. And of course alcohol consumption increases during successful tournaments.
Everyone at Truth Legal believes that domestic abuse could never justified or acceptable. We know that domestic abuse can be perpetrated by both men and women, regardless of whether any football tournament in happening or not. We also recognise that the last 15 months during this pandemic, although challenging and turbulent for most of us, it has been especially difficult for the victims of domestic abuse. Recent statistics show that domestic abuse cases surged during the first seven weeks of lockdown, with one domestic call being made every 30 seconds. As victims will attest, domestic abuse does not have to be physical. It can involve emotional abuse, name calling, controlling and coercive behaviour, financial or even sexual abuse.
As Covid restrictions have not yet been fully lifted, it may be more difficult for some people to seek help, putting them at risk of further abuse. I also recognise that Euro 2020 will soon finish – hopefully with a victory for England – but it will be shortly followed by Premiership, Champions League and UEFA Europa League in the autumn. And that is just football. What about rugby, cricket, or any other sports?
We are all aware that sport is an inherent part of our everyday life, in every country. Sport cannot be blamed for abuse, but we must appreciate that for some victims, these sporting times can be a very much a dreaded aspect of their lives.
If you are more fearful than excited about the final, I want you to know that you are not alone. Our dedicated team offers a free 30min confidential consultation. During such a call, we can discuss your circumstances and consider your options. Certain protective orders can be put in place, within hours, providing some security and protection for you and your children.