Surge in domestic abuse cases coincides with England's World Cup exit

Police in Manchester logged 353 incidents on the day Germany beat England, 15.7% higher than the same day last year

Fears that the World Cup would be accompanied by a surge in domestic violence appear to have been realised, with one police force recording the greatest number of incidents since 1 January on the day England were knocked out of the tournament.

On 27 June, when England were defeated 4-1 by Germany, Greater Manchester police logged 353 incidents of domestic violence.

A spokesman for the force said the figure was the second highest recorded so far this year — and 15.7% higher than the same day last year.

Police forces had been asked to highlight the issue after research conducted during the last World Cup showed that domestic violence increased by almost a third during the tournament.

Greater Manchester police teamed up with 10 local authorities, the Greater Manchester Domestic Abuse Helpline and Greater Manchester Public Health Network to launch an End the Fear World Cup campaign aimed at encouraging victims to seek support.

The helpline received 635 calls in June — which encompassed three weeks of the tournament — but the majority of cases of domestic abuse took place after England lost to Germany.

"Apart from New Year's Day, it's the highest number of domestic abuse incidents recorded in a day so far this year ," said the spokesman.

Assistant Chief Constable Terry Sweeney said the figures underlined the importance of the campaign.

"I am pleased at how many people have responded to the campaign so far and found the courage to come forward," he said. "I also want to send a clear message to offenders that there is no excuse for domestic abuse at any time, and we will look to ensure that those responsible are caught and brought to justice."

The End the Fear campaign used graphic images such as a bloodied football shirt with "strike her" written on the back, and a broken bottle dripping with blood with a caption reading: "Do you have the bottle to stop?"

The images were used online and as posters in pubs, hospitals and doctor's surgeries.

Constabularies in the Isle of Man, Cumbria and West Yorkshire launched similar campaigns to combat the rise in domestic violence during the World Cup.


Megan French

The GuardianTramp

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