World Cup warning on domestic abuse
The police say they will be keeping a close eye on domestic violence during the World Cup following a 25% rise in incidents during the 2006 tournament.
The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) has written to all forces in England and Wales to ask them to highlight the problem to officers and detail their plans for dealing with it. Known offenders are to be visited before the tournament starts and reminded that action will be taken if they’re violent.
The problem doesn’t seem to be the matches themselves but the alcohol that often accompanies them.
Alcohol the trigger
According to Home Office statistics, reports of domestic violence increased by about 30% both after the game against Paraguay which Engalnd won – and the game against Portugal – which England lost on penalties. On average there was a 25% rise in domestic violence reports on the days of England games, with one in four offenders found to be under the influence of alcohol.
A 49-year-old woman, who suffered years of almost-daily beatings from a former boyfriend, told the BBC she would study the sports fixtures in advance and try to be away from home when there were bug games.
‘I don't think that sport overall turns a man into an abuser - they are already abusive men,’ she said. ‘But what I think it does sometimes, the football and rugby, it makes it worse for the woman because she knows he is going to get tanked up, she knows what's going to happen if she does something wrong when he gets home.’
According to Deputy Chief Constable Carmel Napier, the Acpo lead on domestic abuse, an incident of domestic abuse is reported to UK police every minute of every day. But, she says, this is still the tip of the iceberg since research suggest victims suffer on average 40 incidents before reporting it to the police.
DCC Napier said: ‘There is no excuse for domestic violence and perpetrators must be clear that the World Cup does not give them any justification for partaking in abusive behaviour.’
Page created on June 1st, 2010
Page updated on June 1st, 2010