• WalkSafe

Football’s own goal

Updated: Oct 11, 2021

Whilst Brits were disappointed after the final against Italy on Sunday, nearly 40% more people than usual and mostly women, were estimated to have suffered violence at the hands of their partners.

As the National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV) said: “Some people think football is a matter of life and death – to victims of domestic abuse, it often is.” It was reported in the media that charities have often warned about the link between big football games and an increase in calls to police and helplines about abuse. During the 2018 World Cup, violence in the home went up by 28% if the national team played, regardless of the result. If England lost, that increase went up to 38%. Domestic abuse survivor Sharon Bryan told “Football was always a trigger for my ex-husband’s abuse. I lost count of the times when I was assaulted after my ex-husband’s team lost or England lost a match in a tournament.

“If he went to the matches, I used to breathe a sigh of relief as, nine times out of 10, he would be arrested and kept in the cells till the next day.”

However, the woman, who is now a department head at the NCDV, stressed that football and alcohol do not cause abuse.

“But if you have someone who is of a controlling and abusive nature, and you maybe add some alcohol to that, then what you are left with is a potentially life-threatening situation,” she said.

The chief executive of the charity Refuge, Ruth Davison, said: “Let’s be really clear, there is never an excuse for abusive behaviour and abuse doesn’t come ‘by appointment’ – it happens all year round.”

Harrowingly, reports of abuse usually start increasing about 10 to 12 hours after kick-off and several studies show that alcohol is the most significant contributor to rises in domestic abuse.

Big football games are also big drinking opportunities and this is where the cause and effect seems to lie.

WalkSafe is committed to helping all those who suffer violence by ensuring our app is free to download and gives users the latest safety technology in the palm of their hands.

Emma Kay, our co-founder says this is the app ‘that shouldn’t have to exist’ but sadly it does have to and it’s helping women and other victims of violence stay safe. Remember to check your WalkSafe app has updated with the latest notifications and crime statistics and don’t forget to tell your loved ones to download it too.

If you are a victim of violence from your partner, Refuge offer a Freephone 24-Hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247 or visit (access live chat Mon-Fri 3-10pm) You can speak to a member of the National Domestic Abuse Helpline team at any time, day or night. The Helpline adviser will offer confidential, non-judgmental information and expert support. The team will provide a listening ear if you want to talk about your experiences and support you to work through your options in the short and long term.

The Helpline can also help you to access refuge accommodation, or other specialist domestic violence services, if you need them. They also direct

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