During past sporting events such as Euro 2016, some police forces recorded a higher number of incidents of domestic abuse.
Independent Domestic Abuse Services, the largest domestic abuse charity in Yorkshire, report that increased alcohol consumption, unrealistic expectations and heightened emotions can escalate existing domestic abuse, putting people at increased risk.
Sarah Hill, CEO of Independent Domestic Abuse services said:
Domestic abuse causes distress, fear and serious harm to victims and children and can result in a family having to flee their home and the perpetrator receiving a prison sentence.
Alcohol consumption and frustration over a team losing a football match are never an excuse for abusive behaviour. We would encourage anyone who is worried about their relationship to seek support by calling our helpline number.
We would also urge people to look out for each other.
Domestic incidents are often a sign of ongoing domestic abuse.
Abusers use a range of behaviours, not always physical, to lock victims into a tight cycle of power and control, including humiliation; shouting, constant criticism, controlling finances; isolating from friends and family; monitoring; insisting on having access to phone, social media and emails; forcing into unwanted sexual activity; kicking, punching, slapping, hitting them and threatening them.
Abuse can be physical, emotional, financial, psychological or sexual and can affect anyone. It can take many incidents and several years for victims and survivors to report or seek help.
During lockdown, many people have been trapped with abusive partners or family members and the harm has been hidden from view.
Detective Chief Inspector Dave Ellis of North Yorkshire Police’s Safeguarding Team, said:
Alcohol is one of the key factors in domestic abuse reports, rather than sporting events.
We see a spike in reports almost every weekend because that’s when people tend to drink more, we also see an increase during the summer months.
Recent analysis shows that around 2.3 percent of domestic abuse incidents reported to us during the period of the Euros 2020 were reported as a result of alcohol consumption linked to the football tournament, but this was mainly linked to drinking alcohol and not directly because of the games themselves.
We have also seen a year-on-year increase in reports of domestic abuse which could be because people are more willing to report what is happening to them. That said, we know it is under-reported and therefore we urge victims to come forward and get help. It is completely unacceptable for anyone to have to live in fear of domestic abuse.
If you don’t want to speak to the police, you can call IDAS, the Independent Domestic Abuse Service who can provide support and advice. But if you are in immediate danger, always call 999.
As we emerge from lockdown IDAS appeals for friends, family members, colleagues, and neighbours to look out for the warning signs of domestic abuse and signpost people to IDAS for support.
Warning signs include seeming withdrawn or treading on eggshells; change in behaviour or demeanour; changes to appearance; lack of access to money; having to respond immediately to communications from the abusive partner or family member; being checked up on; being humiliated or isolated from friends and family and being subjected to physical harm or having their freedom restricted.
If you are being subjected to domestic abuse or if you are worried about someone you know contact IDAS on the helpline 03000 110 110.