For twelve hours, from 6pm this evening, Australia’s women and children are at more risk of harm than on almost any other Sunday evening of the year.
Emergency services know this. The police know this. Hotels and pubs around the country certainly know this.
Because from now until 6am tomorrow morning, we’ll be riding through one of the few days in the year when incidences of domestic violence surge by 40.7 per cent.
“It’s crystal clear that the State of Origin fixtures are leading to a surge in domestic violence. It’s happening on the National Rugby League’s watch and women and children are being harmed as a direct consequence of these games,” says Michael Thorn, Chief Executive of the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education.
The link between booze and football is where all these statistics are pointing – what they’re screaming about, really – as the experts who collate them question the decisions to let alcohol brands advertise around these games, to sponsor teams, to continue to be so very prominent in every aspect of preparation and celebration of big sporting occasions, both for fans and players (Mad Monday, anyone?).