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Euro 2020 caused spike in DA cases

The football tournament prompted a rise in domestic abuse against women in England, according to the work of the National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV).

In the five weeks of the Euro 2020, which began on 11 June, the NCDV referred 400 more people for protective court orders compared with the five-week period before the tournament.

The number represented a rise of 5% between the two periods, and 8.7% on the average for 2020. Of the referrals during the Euros, 90% were women and 10% were men.

The NCDV  – whose image of the red cross of St George formed of blood from a woman’s nose and across her lips trended 15m times during the tournament – suggests the increase seen during it may just be the tip of the iceberg.

It is too early to tell as victims of domestic abuse generally wait until the storm has passed. It could be several days or even weeks before they seek help, if ever.

Sharon Bryan, the NCDV’s head of partnerships and development, said: “In the immediate aftermath of a domestically abusive incident, the victim is left feeling terrified, shocked and confused – and quite possibly injured. It is quite normal to wait until things have gone back to normal and then call for advice or help.”

While no-one argues football matches cause domestic abuse, research shows there is a link between wins and defeats and perpetrator behaviour. Abuse rose by 26% when England won or drew a match and by 38% when they lost, according to a 2013 study by Lancaster University.

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