Friday, 20 July 2012

Football and domestic abuse

Recent reports by BBC News have revealed a link between domestic abuse and international football tournaments.

During the 2010 World Cup, domestic violence surged. Figures from police forces across England revealed that when England lost to Germany there were 724 more cases of domestic abuse, an increase of 29%. However, it is not only losing that causes abuse to rise. When England beat Slovenia, there were 516 more cases reported which is an overall increase of 27%. Nevertheless, when England drew there was no significant impact on domestic abuse. It has been argued that football does not cause domestic abuse but it can, in some relationships, be an issue which compounds it.

Domestic violence is an attempt to exert power or control over another person using fear, intimidation, verbal abuse, threats or violence. Over time, victims often become isolated from family and friends, losing their network of social support, and the abuser may use increasingly brutal methods to control, leading to serious injury, hospitalisation, and even death.

Domestic violence is something that not only affects women, but men and children too. Indeed, domestic violence and child abuse often take place in the same family. Research has revealed that 50 - 70% of men who frequently assault their partners also abuse their children. This can result in physical injury, psychological harm or neglect and a link between violence in the family and juvenile delinquency has been demonstrated. Furthermore, abused children are six times more likely to commit suicide, 24% more likely to commit sexual assault crimes and a 50% more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol. So, as you can see, as well as being destructive in itself, domestic violence can also have extremely damaging effects. 

Getting help

If you are affected by domestic abuse it is important to seek help to change the situation for the better, whether you are a victim or the person responsible for the violence. Often victims are too scared to seek help for fear of being harmed further or their family or friends being hurt, but it is important to break the cycle of domestic violence. 

First Psychology Scotland can help support those affected by domestic abuse while they rebuild their lives. For more details contact your local centre:

Edinburgh: 0131-668-1440,
Glasgow: 0141-404-5411,
Borders: 01896-800-400,
Aberdeen: 01224-452-848,

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