As Euro 2021 kicks off today, Solace, a leading domestic abuse provider in London is calling on football fans to remember that although game has its glory, it also has an ugly side.
Director Jane Jutsum says, ‘It’s fantastic to see sporting events coming back to life, and Solace are as pleased as everyone else that people are now able to attend and enjoy them. Unfortunately, here at Solace – and women’s charities across the UK – we can’t talk about football without talking about domestic violence as well.’
A recent report from London School of Economics looking at football victories and alcohol related domestic violence concluded that there is a link.
Their results show a 47% increase in the number of reported alcohol-related domestic abuse cases on days when the England team wins in these tournaments, and an 18% increase on days after an England match.
‘Solace are already dealing with more calls than ever before from women facing and fleeing abuse. Covid-19 and the Lockdowns have had a dramatic impact on women’s safety, with many being locked in with their abuser and unable to find the help that they need, in the last year calls to our helpline have more than doubled.’
We appreciate that most football fans just want to enjoy the game and watch their team win, but for a significant minority Euro 2021 will also mean that emotions run high and that this, mixed often with alcohol, can lead to domestic violence.
We’re asking all football fans, of all genders to remember that football is a beautiful game and that it there is no place for violence of any kind.
We’re asking people to share uplifting photographs of themselves in their sports kits, and London’s women’s teams, to show solidarity for both women and sport.