North Yorkshire Police are keen to draw attention to the ugly side of the game, prior to the launch of the UEFA European Football Championship.
With official statistics showing an increase in reports of domestic abuse when England play, police are well aware of the risks the forthcoming tournament holds for victims of domestic abuse.
Studies conducted by the National Centre for Domestic Violence, ACPO and the BBC revealed that during the 2010 World Cup cases of domestic violence rose by an average of 25% after an England match, irrespective of whether England won or lost the game.
Speaking about the fear and threat victims of domestic abuse face, DCI Andrea Kell said:
We know from previous football tournaments that when passions runs high and alcohol may be involved, reports of domestic abuse increase.
Domestic abuse has a devastating effect for everyone involved. Not only on the victim, but any children in the home and extended family too.
I urge anyone who experiences domestic abuse at any time, not just over the next four weeks of the tournament, to contact us and report it. If you are in immediate danger always dial 999 or you can contact police on 101 and let us take the necessary steps to stop the abuse.
If you do not want to involve the police, you can still get help – contact IDAS (Independent Domestic Abuse Service) where you can receive professional support at any time of the day. You can call the IDAS 24 hour helpline – 03000 110 110 or visit the website for help and advice – https://www.idas.org.uk/
North Yorkshire Police will be running a social media campaign throughout the term of the tournament – highlighting domestic abuse and signposting victims to sources of help and support. For more information go to www.northyorkshire.police.uk/domesticabuse or follow us on twitter @NYorksPolice #dontsufferinsilence