Does domestic violence rise during the World Cup?

The numbers aren't what they seem. Not all police forces noticed a rise in domestic abuse reports and of course it's an issue not confined to once every four years, like the football tournament.

Lydia Morrish
Lydia Morrish NewsMavens, United Kingdom
Does domestic violence rise during the World Cup? - NewsMavens
Football fan, PixaBay

Why this story matters:

For the past four weeks, people all over Europe and the rest of the globe have spent long evenings and hot afternoons supporting their national football teams in the World Cup.

But for some, the festivities of football have not been so positive.

Some police forces in England told WikiTribune that they saw an increase in reports of domestic abuse during the tournament.

The National Centre for Domestic Violence also said it received 500 more reports of domestic abuse over ten days during the World Cup than it did in the period before, according to numbers released to WikiTribune.

But it's key here not to "blame" football. Increased alcohol consumption, aggressive environments and group mentality can contribute to a rise in violence, said domestic violence charities

Mark Groves, the CEO of the National Centre for Domestic Violence, also noted the weather produced by a "heatwave" that continues across the UK.

“One of the [factors] is that it’s a warmer temperature. There’s increased alcohol consumption during this period and a crowd can intensify the concept of rivalry and aggression," he said.

Not all police forces have found evidence of a rise and of course correlation does not equal causation. However, it's worth noting it's a good time to bring up issues of domestic violence, a year-round problem.

If there's one thing the World Cup did in England apart from bring weeks of hope before the devastating defeat last week in the semi-final by Croatia, it's that it reminded the public that violence isn't just between men and it's not just in the streets.

Details from the story:

  • A recent tweet saying that domestic violence reports rose 38% in the area if England lost a game in the 2014 World Cup was widely shared on social media.
  • From July 1 to July 10, the National Centre for Domestic Violence received 2619 reports of domestic violence. In comparison, a ten-day period before the World Cup began saw the charity receive 2119 reports. That’s 500 less than those reported during the football period.
  • In West Yorkshire, there was an increase in domestic abuse reports on Saturday July 7, the day England secured its place in the World Cup semi-final.
  • The number of incidents reported to the police that day was up 128 on the equivalent Saturday last year, according to figures released by West Yorkshire Police.
  • But the case isn't the same around the country. Cambridgeshire Constabulary said their figures showed no explicit rise in domestic violence incidents during the World Cup.
  • The Metropolitan Police in London told WikiTribune they had “no evidence at this stage to prove a definitive link between domestic abuse and football.”
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