Football’s coming home – don’t let it happen, don’t let it keep happening

As world cup season begins (June 11) Hackney Council, the nia Project and the Police are asking those who experience violence at home not to suffer in silence, but to come forward to ask for support at a time when reports of domestic abuse rise across the country.

The agencies are also calling on health and social care professionals as well as neighbours and friends to watch out for signs of domestic abuse.

Reports of domestic violence to England and Wales police forces increased by a quarter (25 per cent) on average during the last world cup in 2006 with Home Office data showing a 31 per cent rise in domestic violence reports on the day of England s 1-0 victory over Paraguay. Figures also indicate a clear link between drinking and reports of domestic violence during the world cup season.

If you are afraid of someone and want to find help, there are free local support services available in Hackney. These services are run by experts who understand the importance of your safety and the safety of your children - and will always put this first.

Domestic violence can involve a partner or family member shouting abuse at you, hurting you or hitting you. Someone wrecking your home or your things, putting you down or controlling you; threatening or keeping you inside or apart from other people against your will; a sexual assault or being forced to do anything you do not want to do.

Cllr Sophie Linden, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods said:

“Big sporting events that come hand in hand with excessive drinking, can mean even more suffering for women whose partners already abuse them at home. Our message to victims of domestic abuse is please break your silence and come to us. There are so many ways that we can help you.”

Karen Ingala Smith Chief Executive of the nia project said:

“There are some women and children who care about whether England is losing for all the wrong reasons. Statistics from the last world cup show that reports of domestic violence rise by almost a third when England play. Abusers can use alcohol and football as an excuse for their violent and abusive behaviour. But there is never any excuse. Please remember that expert help is available in Hackney.”

If you are in danger or in an emergency situation do not hesitate to contact the Police - call 999.
For help and support you can also call Hackney Council’s freephone helpline: 0800 056 0905 (9.30am to 5pm) or contact the 24-hour National Domestic Violence Freephone Helpline. 0808 2000 247. This national number is also able to give up to date local information.

Together the nia project, the council and specially trained police officers offer a range of professional services to help women and children affected by domestic abuse. These include confidential advice, advocacy and information service where staff can advise on areas such as housing, law and your rights. A one-to-one counselling service. We can help you leave an abusive situation, get access to refuges or secure your home.

Hackney Council also runs a “Safer Homes” scheme. This is a free scheme where those who have suffered from domestic violence can get their home assessed and secured for their safety. To help you access the services you need, translators are available in all community languages spoken in Hackney.