‘Blow the whistle on domestic violence and abuse’ – that’s the advice being given by Swindon Community Safety Partnership on the eve of this summer’s World Cup.
Incidents of domestic violence increased by 37% across the UK during the last World Cup, with the biggest spike in the figures coinciding with England getting knocked out of the tournament.
The police in Swindon are warning that acts of domestic violence will not be tolerated during the World Cup, and that they will deal with all incidents robustly.
People experiencing domestic abuse are being urged to come forward to report incidents of abuse to the police, and to seek support from agencies such as Swindon Women’s Aid, which is geared up to support male and female victims during the tournament.
Posters, carrying the message: ‘There is never an excuse for domestic abuse. Blow the whistle’, which show the Swindon 24-hour domestic violence helpline number, have also been distributed to key outlets across the Borough including Great Western Hospital and GP surgeries.
The campaign is also asking everyone to drink responsibly and to be aware of their limits whether they are watching the World Cup games in a pub or at home.
Cllr Emma Faramarzi, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Public Safety, said: “The World Cup is a fantastic sporting occasion, but we know from previous tournaments that with emotions running high people drink more alcohol which in turn leads to an increase in domestic violence.
“We want to encourage anyone who is a victim of domestic violence – which can also be emotional, verbal and financial – to come forward and report these crimes so they can be dealt with appropriately.”
People experiencing domestic violence can contact the Swindon 24-hour helpline Service on 01793 610610 or the 24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247.
In an emergency, always ring 999. People who are concerned about their abusive behaviour can contact the Respect helpline on 0845 122 8609.