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Domestic Violence increase 38% during World Cup

As the excitement and passion rise around the World Cup series so does domestic abuse in the UK. If you or someone you know has been affected by domestic violence, there is help and support available.

For many women, the World Cup is a stressful time. Their partners may be more irritable than usual, drinking more alcohol, and staying up late to watch games, and possibly gambling. With passion comes tension and this can create a perfect storm for domestic abuse.

No doubt you will have heard that domestic violence increases by 38% when the England team lose a world cup match, a lesser known fact that there is an increase of 26% when England Win or draw. For people in an abusive relationship, the start of the World Cup initiates a period of fear and anxiety. 'No one wants England to win more than women.

At the end of October, the Home Office and Women's Aid launched a campaign to “raise awareness of football-related abuse towards women in England and Wales” and promote the notion that “the responsibility to end domestic violence and sexual harassment against women and girls lies amongst our men and boys.”

Government definitions of domestic violence and abuse are: “any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, 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 also encompasses, but is not limited to, psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional abuse.

It is important also to remember that domestic violence and abuse is not limited to women, it affects men and children also, it is estimated today that a staggering 1 in 5 children are exposed to domestic abuse. The effects and responses from children may differ and there is growing evidence to that cognitive capabilities and birth weights are lower, along with behavioural differences. Older children may exhibit 'difficult' or 'quiet' behaviour, 'persistent elevations of stress hormones and altered levels of key brain chemicals produce an internal physiological state that disrupts the structure of the developing brain and can lead to difficulties in learning, memory and self-regulation. As a result, children who experience toxic stress in early childhood may develop a lifetime of greater susceptibility to stress-related physical illnesses (such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension and diabetes) as well as mental health problems (such as depression, anxiety disorders and substance abuse)'(National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, 2007).

The effects of being exposed to the trauma caused by abusive relationships go on beyond the event/s or incidents, the impacts are lasting.

It is not acceptable to be living in fear and we are here to support you. Fear of the unknown is often a barrier to escaping. We can advise you of your rights, and help you navigate the legal processes in addition to supporting you in putting protective measures in place. Contact us for an initial free confidential discussion.

Please contact us and we will help you through the legal process to move on.

We have also partnered with MKACT, who offer crisis support, safe emergency accommodation for adults and children, and ongoing support. Please visit their website here:

If you are a victim, know someone, or suspect domestic abuse, please break the silence and take action.

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