Lambeth Council has begun a campaign to raise awareness of support services available to domestic violence victims and warn of its “zero tolerance” approach to abusers during this summer’s European football championships.
Studies show that during high-profile sports events, including the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, domestic violence incidents increase.
The risks are attributed to increased alcohol consumption during the tournaments.
Links between violence against women and sport were probed in a study during 2010 by the End Violence Against Women Coalition.
Author, Dr Catherine Palmer, said: “There is a growing body of research and indeed concern among agencies and authorities that links intimate partner violence to sport and sporting events.
“Increased competitive tensions and alcohol consumption are cited as conductive factors, particularly for women already living in vulnerable domestic arrangements.”
The study cited a 2006 Home Office report that said incidents of intimate partner violence increased as much as 30 per cent on the days of England’s fixtures.
In response to this Lambeth council wants to raise awareness about support services available to victims of domestic violence ahead of England’s first match in the Euros against France on June 11.
Councillor Jack Hopkins, Lambeth’s cabinet member for public protection, said: “Major sporting events do not cause domestic violence, let’s be clear about that. The perpetrators of these acts of violence and intimidation are responsible for their own actions.
“But levels of increased alcohol consumption together with the highly charged emotional atmosphere of these events do seem to increase the number of domestic violence incidents.
“We remain committed to end violence against women and girls in Lambeth and will tirelessly campaign to raise awareness of an issue that often goes unreported and undiscovered, but which worryingly accounts for around 20% of murders across London”. If you feel threatened or at risk of violence support is available. You are not alone and I would encourage you to contact the Lambeth Gaia Centre.”
The Gaia Centre provides free confidential, non-judgemental and independent support services for those who are experiencing gender violence in Lambeth.
It is one of the first centres of its kind in the country to provide a holistic and integrated support service. It provides one-to-one support for all survivors of gender-based violence (both male and female), a sanctuary scheme to support survivors to stay safe at home, group support, and a peer support scheme to enable survivors to become more independent and regain control of their lives. The centre is run by Refuge on behalf of Lambeth council. To find out more visit www.refuge.org.uk/about-us/what-we-do/gaia-centre-lambeth
For support and advice call the centre in confidence on 020 7733 8724 or email firstname.lastname@example.org . In an emergency always call 999.