New research has found that reports of domestic violence rose by as much as 38% when England lost a match during the 2014 World Cup.
“We know the tournament leads to an increase in both alcohol-related violence and domestic abuse,” Chief Inspector Mike Haines, from the Hampshire Constabulary, told Sky News. The force has introduced an extra five patrol cars and 10 additional officers specifically for responding to and supporting domestic-violence victims.
In the alcohol-fuelled, hyper-masculine world of the World Cup, it’s women who are put in danger.
So much so that women aren’t safe if England win either – the research found that domestic violence also rose by 26% when the team were successful or drew. Last World Cup, there was still an 11% rise in domestic violence on the day after an England match.
The level of domestic-abuse incidents reported to police during the World Cup has steadily increased over the past decade – 64 reports were recorded in 2006, jumping to 99 in 2010. Of course, this may reflect a shift in more victims feeling empowered to report their experience of abuse – but it by no means minimises the troubling link between football and the violent outbursts of abuse hurled at women.