With the world cup just a few weeks away, Warwickshire Police force is teaming up with the West Mercia force to target domestic abuse.
Throughout the 2014 World Cup, Warwickshire Police dealt with 190 domestic abuse crimes, and according to their research, many more could have been suffering in silence, with some victims enduring more than fifty incidents before telling anyone.
Detective Chief Inspector Andy Nolan said:
“Domestic abuse doesn’t have to be physical; it can also be psychological, emotional, sexual and financial. We are warning perpetrators that there will be consequences for their actions and if you ‘kick off at home’ you can expect to be arrested and could end up facing a 28 day ban from the address.
“It is also important for victims to be aware that any reports of domestic abuse will be taken seriously and we are urging anyone who feels vulnerable or threatened not to suffer in silence, and to come forward so the police and our partners can support them.
“I want to emphasise that major sporting events do not cause domestic abuse, as perpetrators are responsible for their actions, but the high levels of alcohol consumption combined with the emotional nature of these events seems to increase the prevalence of domestic abuse.”
They're encouraging anyone who feels at risk to contact them as soon as possible. Alternatively you can get in touch with one of their partner organisations in the region, like Warwickshire’s Violence Against Women and Girls Board.
Sue Ingram, speaking on behalf of the Board, said:
Evidence shows that the reporting of domestic abuse incidents has increased during previous football tournaments. Win or lose, the heightened emotion, hope, excitement, frustration and ultimately disappointment, for some leads to violence, abuse and fear.
"We want to be clear that football doesn't cause domestic abuse; nor does alcohol; violence and abuse is a perpetrators choice. The vast majority of men enjoy football and do not abuse their partners. Domestic abuse has a devastating impact on victims, children and families.
“We don't want anyone to have to suffer in silence. If you or someone you know is affected by domestic violence or abuse, talking to someone can help. Please call Warwickshire’s confidential, specialist domestic abuse helpline on 0800 408 1552.”