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 Domestic Abuse Surges During England's Tournaments

Domestic Abuse Surges During England's Tournaments

England are about to kick-off their Euros 2024 hopes. Meanwhile, here at home, behind closed doors, a different battle is about to kick-off for thousands of women.

On Sunday, England face Serbia in their first game of the 2024 Euros tournament. The country will be backing Southgate’s side as they travel to Gelsenkirchen to kick-off.

Meanwhile, here at home, behind closed doors, a completely different battle is about to kick-off for thousands of women. The main opponent? Their partner.

Football is often hailed as ‘the beautiful game’, however, the nationwide passion for a sport that is inextricably linked to England can sometimes reveal a darker side - particularly during major international tournaments like the Euros.

Here in the UK, a disturbing trend has been observed: a significant increase in domestic abuse incidents coinciding with England's football matches.

Multiple studies and reports have confirmed a correlation between England's participation in football tournaments and spikes in domestic abuse incidents. Research conducted by Lancaster University revealed a 38% increase in domestic abuse reports when England loses and a 26% increase when our team wins or draws. The heightened patriotic emotions, alcohol consumption, sense of “Englishness” and an “us v. them” rhetoric fueled by media narratives of these matches are contributing factors to this alarming pattern.

The National Centre for Domestic Violence corroborated these findings during the 2018 World Cup, reporting a 25% rise in domestic abuse cases on days when England played. These figures underscore the consistent and troubling link between football matches and domestic abuse.

Several factors contribute to the spike in domestic abuse during football tournaments:

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Emotional and Psychological Stress

Football matches, especially those involving national pride, elicit strong emotions. The outcomes of these games can lead to extreme reactions, whether it's the elation of a win or the frustration and disappointment of a loss. These heightened emotions can exacerbate tensions at home, leading to abusive behavior.

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Alcohol Consumption

Football viewing is often accompanied by increased alcohol consumption, which can impair judgment and exacerbate aggressive tendencies. Alcohol is a known risk factor in domestic abuse cases, further inflaming already volatile situations.

A 2020 study (Trendl, Stewart & Mullett) used 10 years’ worth of crime data from the second largest police force in England (West Midlands Police). They found that of the 427,351 reported cases of domestic abuse in this period, 26% were alcohol-related (in contrast, only 9% of non-domestic abuse cases were alcohol-related).

Furthermore, an analysis of the 2016 Euros found that viewers encountered 122 references to alcohol per broadcast on average – that’s 0.65 per minute (Purves et al., 2017).

The damning fact is that sports broadcasts offer alcohol companies a loophole to avoid post-watershed guidelines, further enticing people to pick up an alcoholic beverage and take the first step on the path that too often results in domestic abuse.

Alcohol isn’t an excuse for domestic abuse. There’s no excuse for domestic abuse.

Social and Cultural Factors

The social environment surrounding football, particularly in pubs and communal viewing areas, can contribute to a culture of aggression. The collective tension and high stakes associated with these matches can spill over into domestic settings, resulting in abusive incidents.

The issue of domestic abuse in the UK is pervasive, affecting a significant portion of the population. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), about 4.1% of people aged 16 and over experienced domestic abuse in the year ending March 2023. This figure highlights the ongoing prevalence of domestic violence. Put simply, it can affect anyone.

Our new campaign

This month we’re rolling out our new poster campaign across bars, pubs and other venues across Essex where the Euros are being shown.

We designed this in-house to make the public aware of the key statistics surrounding reported domestic abuse incidents when England play in major tournaments.

Of course, we understand that domestic abuse is called so for a reason. It happens at home – and we can’t get our posters into every living room. So here are a few signs you may notice in those around you that could be signs of abuse:

  • Is someone you know or are associating with making derogatory comments about their partner, or women in general?
  • Does a friend consistently make excuses not to come out?
  • Changes in the way people react to certain sounds, or the way their name is said.
  • Walking or driving past your friends’ house, do they always have their curtains closed?
  • Have you noticed a sudden change in personality in someone? Perhaps they are feeling overly low or happy (the latter to compensate), struggling to maintain eye contact or expressing timid body language?
  • A colleague is often sick with seemingly no medical reason. There could be a pattern to this, for example the day after every football game of their partner’s team.
  • Has a friend expressed concern about their partner's behaviour? They might be demanding access to their social media, putting them down, gaslighting them or even just constantly talking over them.

Signs of abuse can be both visible and invisible – a lot of the time, when you have a hunch, it’s worth following up on. You can also do your part by calling out toxic ‘banter’ that may be a red flag for abuse or a potential perpetrators state of mind.

At Next Chapter, we believe that everyone knows someone affected by domestic abuse, so if you see the signs mentioned above, or if you just have a hunch, you can visit our website to find appropriate options to get them support in a safe way.

Click the ‘Get Help’ button to learn more.

Need help urgently?

  • 999 – if there is immediate risk to life
  • Police stations – come into any police station in Essex and you will be able to talk to someone
  • 101 – the non-emergency phone number.
  • Officers or PCSOs on the street

Mental Health Awareness Week 2024

Mental Health Awareness Week 2024

Domestic abuse isn’t always physical. It can have implications across your whole life. Naturally, these can have a huge knock-on effect to a victim's mental health.

Domestic abuse isn’t always physical. It can have implications across your whole life – financial, sexual, emotional and more. Naturally, these can have a huge knock-on effect to a victim's mental health as well. What’s more, these mental health effects can last for years after, sometimes long after a victim has escaped an abusive relationship.

This week marks Mental Health Awareness Week 2024, so over the week we’ll be sharing statistics and case studies highlighting the connection between mental health and domestic abuse.

If you’re struggling with your mental health

Sometimes things feel so heavy that we wouldn’t blame you for thinking that there’s no one who can properly understand or help you – but this isn’t necessarily the case.

At Next Chapter, our trained staff can help you with your concerns about your mental health in relation to domestic abuse.

You can click the ‘Get Help’ button above to find appropriate support for you.

Certain activities can help you find a moment of peace, too. Such as learning a new hobby, taking part in a class, reading or walking in nature. Our friends at Women’s Aid have also released a new Yoga challenge which you can find by clicking here.

Did you know?

  • Domestic violence has an estimated overall cost to mental healthcare of £176 million.2
  • Research suggests that women experiencing domestic abuse are more likely to experience mental health problems. In contrast, women with mental health problems are more likely to be domestically abused, with 30-60% of women with mental health problems have experienced domestic violence.3
  • Domestic violence is associated with depression, anxiety, PTSD and substance abuse in the general population.4
  • Exposure to domestic violence has a significant impact on children's mental health. Many studies have found strong links between poorer educational outcomes and higher levels of mental health problems.5


  1. ONS. (2014). Intimate Personal Violence and Partner Abuse.
  1. Walby, S. (2004). The Cost of Domestic Violence. Research Summary: Women & Equality Unit.  
  1. Howard, L.M., Trevillion, K., Khalifeh, H., Woodall, A., AgnewDavies, R., & Feder, G. (2009). Domestic violence and severe psychiatric disorders: Prevalence and interventions. Psychological Medicine, 40(6), 881–893.
  1. Trevillion, K., Oram, S., Feder, G., & Howard, L.M. (2012). Experiences of domestic violence and mental disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLOS One, 7, e51740.
  1. Gilbert, R., Kemp, A., Thoburn, J., Sidebotham, P., Radford, L., Glaser, D., & MacMillan, H. (2009). Recognising and responding to child maltreatment. The Lancet, 373(9658), 167–180.

Let's Talk About Stalking...

Let's Talk About Stalking...

Next Chapter can advise you of your options and support you with whatever steps you are ready to take to increase your safety – it is your choice.

What is stalking?

If you have ended a relationship but your ex-partner is continuing to contact you, and you aren’t responding, or you fear if you don’t respond they might get worse, this is Stalking. They might also be turning up to your home or other places uninvited, seem to know your whereabouts without you telling them, be contacting your friends about you, or making allegations to professionals. Any of these behaviours are Stalking. In addition, having been in an intimate relationship they have significant knowledge of your life, routines, any vulnerabilities, your devices and accounts, any of which they could be using to Stalk you.

This behaviour is illegal. Maybe you aren’t sleeping, are feeling extremely anxious and on edge, have changed your daily routines to avoid your ex. You do not have to live like this, we can help.

Next Chapter can advise you of your options and support you with whatever steps you are ready to take to increase your safety – it is your choice. We will work with you at your pace, we can advocate to others for you, we are non-judgemental and understanding of the impact Stalking has.

We are independent of Police. But if you choose to report, we can support you throughout the process, and advocate for you as experts in Stalking. Maybe you’ve already reported and don’t feel you are being taken seriously – we can help.

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What does stalking look like?

Stalking can take many forms. Often, a victim may experience the stalker:

  • Publishing victims address online alongside malicious allegations about them, or to sex/chat websites (and giving out their address)
  • Driving past the victim’s house several times a week
  • Asking victim’s neighbours to report back on victim’s movements
  • Calling and pretending to be a professional to elicit info from victim, or making malicious Allegations to professionals to cause distress
  • Alleging fraud to DWP to freeze benefits, (if perp previously had control of all bills and money) Not passing on any info of bills and cancelling/changing into victim’s name without their knowledge which accrues debts – eg car insurance if victim owns and uses the car, signing them up to catalogues - (financial abuse)
  • Using fake and numerous social media accounts across all platforms to follow/friend victim and their friends and family online
  • Using withheld/new & unknown numbers/email addresses to continue contacting after being blocked
  • Cyber stalking – having access to smart devices/ring doorbell in the home after separation, Hacking email address, bank account, etc
  • Escalating significantly if victim doesn’t answer, so that victim has to reply/do as they are told to avoid e.g. harm to family
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What is a stalker?

Some people are told to stop contacting their ex-partner but feel unable to let go, want lots of ongoing contact, to know what their ex is up to, and reconcile. Some people feel unable to stop contacting, or try to “bump into” their ex, or feel angry if they don’t get a reply and decides to go to their ex’s home address instead of texting and calling. Some people might make threats to get what they want. Some feel that mental health is impacting behaviour, or drinking or drug use is increasing. If you recognise any of the behaviours in yourself, you can get help to change.

Please go to The Change hub: The Change Hub - The Change Project (

16 Days of Activism

16 Days of Activism

What is #16Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence? It is a campaign to prevent and end violence against women and girls, which is the most pervasive human rights violation worldwide.

16 days of action began on 25th November with International Day for the elimination of violence against women and girls. What is #16Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence?

It is a campaign to prevent and end violence against women and girls, which is the most pervasive human rights violation worldwide.

16 days of action is all about raising awareness and taking action to change the conditions that perpetuate violence against women and girls. There is #NoExcuse - let’s end and prevent violence now!

More Information

Violence against women & girls is the most pervasive human rights violation worldwide.

Nearly 1 in 3 women and girls globally have been subjected to physical and/or sexual intimate partner

violence, non-partner sexual violence, or both at least once in their life. for daily updates

Facts & Figures

Taking Action

Domestic abuse can be easy to spot in a loved one, but would you know what to do in this situation? If you have a friend, family member or colleague who is experiencing domestic abuse, how can you help?


Follow us on Facebook & Instagram for daily updates

Women's Aid publish The Economics of Abuse 2019

Women's Aid publish The Economics of Abuse 2019

The Domestic Abuse Report 2019: The Economics of Abuse

The Domestic Abuse Report 2019: The Economics of Abuse

The Domestic Abuse Report 2019: The Economics of Abuse is the first thematic report from the Women's Aid series in 2019. Their Annual Audit will be published later this month.

Economic abuse is often misunderstood but it is a key tactic used by perpetrators of domestic abuse to control their partner and stop her from leaving. The Domestic Abuse Report 2019: The Economics of Abuse explores the relationship between domestic abuse and economic resources, looking at the needs and experiences of survivors around finances, welfare, housing and employment (economic needs), and how these needs are met by specialist domestic abuse services.

© Women’s Aid, March 2019
ISBN 978-0-907817-68-0
Please cite this report as:
Women’s Aid (2019) The Domestic Abuse Report 2019: The Economics of Abuse. Bristol: Women’s Aid.
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