Did you know that domestic violence goes up when England lose a World Cup game? Here's how a new campaign this weekend highlighted some uncomfortable truths about football and domestic abuse
We were all delighted when England beat Tunisia yesterday in their first World Cup match. None more so then those affected by domestic violence.
Marie Claire spoke to CEO Kathy Coe about the response to the campaign, which has reached over 3 million people so far. She said, ‘We really hadn’t anticipated that level of interest in the article, which has been national. However, as a result we have had calls asking for help and have been able to help people to find their local support service and get the help that they need. That makes it all worthwhile.’
Coe also responded to criticism that criticism the campaign has faced online, where some commentators have accused the campaign of ignoring domestic violence perpetrated by women on their male partners, or domestic violence that occurs in LGBTQ+ relationships.
She said, ‘We work with male and female victims but there are some issues where there is a definite gender bias and football is generally one of them… our experience as a provider of 27 years is that this type of event causes an increase in male to female violence.’
In the final part of a statement released yesterday, Pathway Project emphasised that they exist to protect victims of domestic abuse, no matter who they are. It’s simple: ‘Our aim is to protect all victims and to ensure that people get help when they need it.’ They went on to add, ‘Our message is that if you are struggling in an abusive relationship and need help, there are organisations such as Pathway all around the country, and they will be happy to help you and support you.’
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, the 24-hour National Domestic Violence Freephone Helpline is on 0808 2000 247