Incidences of domestic violence can increase during football tournaments, according to evidence from frontline services both in Ireland and abroad. A study by Durham University which examines the links between domestic violence and sport has shown there are significant links between sporting tournaments and a rise in intimate partner violence.
Sonas Housing is urging victims not to suffer in silence and to be aware that help is out there.
“A great deal of evidence shows a link between sporting occasions and a rise in domestic violence,” said Paula McGovern, policy and communications officer with Sonas Housing. “In an abusive relationship, Ireland’s wins or losses can be used as an excuse to exacerbate violence or to legitimise it in some way. Alcohol and other factors also play a significant part, though they are not the sole cause.”
In the UK a campaign tackling domestic violence during the Euros is underway led by police forces in many local authority areas. West Yorkshire Police force said they saw reports of domestic abuse double during one England game alone in the 2010 World Cup.
“Domestic violence should never be tolerated and perpetrators need to know that their actions are not acceptable and have consequences,” said McGovern. “Meanwhile victims need to also be aware that there is help at hand if they need it though the Gardai, their local domestic violence service or through the national helpline number 1800 341900.”
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Notes for editor
Sonas Housing operates Viva House, a women’s refuge in Dublin 15, and eight supported housing complexes for women and children who are homeless because of domestic violence.
Link to West Yorkshire campaign