Domestic abuse charity fears Euros could be grim catalyst

By Barrie Hudson - 13 June 2024

  • Swindon Domestic Abuse Support Service (SDASS) CEO Jo Eamey

    Swindon Domestic Abuse Support Service (SDASS) CEO Jo Eamey

The arrival of the Euros 2024 tournament has prompted Swindon Domestic Abuse Support Service (SDASS) to call for more awareness of the signs of domestic abuse.

Research shows that incidents of domestic abuse are increased around major football matches, with an average increase of 47 percent on the days where England has won a World Cup or European Championship match.

The timing of the match can also have an impact on domestic abuse victims too, with incidents peaking from three hours before a match to up to 10 hours afterwards.  

Further research shows the connection between being under the influence of alcohol and domestic abuse, and so, particularly when games are early and the perpetrator is under the influence of alcohol, football matches lead to an overall cumulative increase in domestic abuse. 

With the countdown to England’s first match now on, taking place on Sunday against Serbia, Chief Executive Officer of SDASS Jo Eamey is calling for Swindon to be on the lookout for signs of domestic abuse and urges victims to come forward for help.  

She said: “Football matches like the Euros 2024 can be a frightening time for victims of domestic abuse.  Where emotions are running high, often coupled with excessive alcohol, we know that incidents are more likely to happen whether England win or lose.  

“This year a number of matches will also be happening relatively early in the day, with a 2pm UK time kick-off and so as the tournament progresses and with England predicted to do well this year, we’ll be working hard to keep victims safe. 

“We’re working closely with the police in order to provide support and help for victims during this time but domestic abuse often goes unreported and unspoken.  We want everyone in Swindon to be able to spot the signs of abuse in their friends and family.  

"Whilst injuries can sometimes be easy to spot, domestic abuse isn’t always physical.  Signs to look out for where someone may be being abused - physically, emotionally, financially or otherwise - could include a change in their behaviour, withdrawing from friendships and social situations and increased anxiety, especially relating to ensuring their partner is happy.

“Our free, confidential helpline is available 24 hours a day and our trained staff are always on hand to provide help and guidance, as well as practical support for those wanting to free themselves of abuse.  

"We want to see Swindon come together to spot the signs and help put an end to domestic abuse.  Whilst we will be cheering for England, we want the only losers to be the teams we face on the pitch, not those at home.”

People needing advice for themselves or a friend relating to Domestic Abuse can call the confidential 24/7 Helpline, which is always answered by an advisor, on 01793 610610.


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