Football fans urged to show domestic violence the 'red card' as Euro 2020 get under way

Football fans across Staffordshire have been urged to "show domestic abuse the red card" as the Euros get under way.

Football fans have been urged to show domestic violence the red card
Football fans have been urged to show domestic violence the red card

Research has shown incidents of domestic abuse rise by up to 25 per cent when England play in major tournaments.

This has led to charity, council and police to come together to raise awareness of the issue – and signpost the support on offer to potential victims.

Chantelle Thompson, head of service at New Era which supports perpetrators and victims in the county, said: "Football tournaments like this one can be a great way of bringing communities and families together. However, sadly, they often coincide with an increase in referrals to services like ours.

"But, it’s not an unfavourable match result or someone drinking too much alcohol that causes domestic abuse. Domestic abuse is caused by one person wanting to coercively control another. It’s never acceptable and it’s illegal.

"If you’re experiencing domestic abuse, or you want support to change your abusive behaviour, we can help you. New Era supports adults and children of all ages, genders and ethnicities living Cannock and elsewhere in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent."

Cannock Chase District Council teamed up with New Era, Staffordshire Police, the Staffordshire Commissioner's Office and councils across Staffordshire to launch the safety campaign.

Councillor Bryan Jones, deputy leader and portfolio leader for neighbourhood safety and partnerships in Cannock, said: "It is a sad fact that incidents of domestic abuse rise sharply during major football tournaments. This campaign will help raise awareness of the support services available to both victims and perpetrators as well as sending out a clear message that domestic abuse is completely unacceptable.

"The message is not that football itself is responsible for domestic abuse. Football can be a source of community, where most fans watch a game without becoming aggressive. However, it does cause some individuals within our society to become violent and vent their anger on those who are closest to them – including their children.

Football fans have been urged to show domestic violence the red card

"If you are experiencing domestic abuse or know someone who is, please contact New Era and they will be able to support you. Please show domestic abuse the red card – if you become a perpetrator, there will always consequences to your actions. Get help today."

The campaign encourages perpetrators of domestic abuse to get help from New Era Domestic Abuse Service on 01785 601690, an organisation which offers specialist domestic violence prevention services.

The campaign also encourages victims, individuals and families who have concerns to report abuse and get support from New Era’s Domestic Abuse Service’s Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent 24-hour confidential helpline on 0300 303 3778 or access their 24/7 live chat facility at new-era.uk.

Chief Inspector Paul Cooke, safeguarding lead for Staffordshire Police, said: “Staffordshire Police along with our partners are committed to breaking the cycle of abuse for those victims and families living with domestic abuse. I would encourage those suffering abuse or those committing the abuse to call the police or our partners so we can assist you, your children and family stay safe from further harm. The first and hardest step for change is letting someone know what is happening. We, as agencies, are here for you and ready to help."

Ben Adams, Staffordshire Commissioner for Police, Fire and Rescue and Crime, added: "We’re working hard to promote the message that domestic abuse is never acceptable, and investing in services like New Era to ensure victims get the support they need, when they need it."

For more information visit www.cannockchasedc.gov.uk/footballredcard.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News