Police must act on domestic violence all year round – not just during Euro 2016


Responding to news that some police forces are warning of an increase in domestic violence during the Euro 2016 football tournament, Sandra Horley CBE, chief executive of Refuge, said:

“We know that some police forces see an increase in reports of domestic violence during major football competitions. Football – and the alcohol that tends to go with it – can be an aggravating factor when it comes to domestic violence, but it is not the root cause.

“Domestic violence is systematic, patterned behaviour on the part of the abusive man designed to control ‘his woman’. Blaming football or alcohol absolves the perpetrator of responsibility for his actions. Domestic violence is a choice perpetrators make; and the vast majority of men who enjoy football do not choose to abuse their partners.

“Women experience violence and abuse at the hands of their partners every day, not just when football is on the TV. Many forces are undertaking awareness raising campaigns warning that domestic violence will not be tolerated – but this should not be limited to football tournaments. Domestic violence is an appalling crime that kills two women every week in England and Wales. Police must take a zero tolerance approach all year round.”

For more information, please contact the Refuge press office on 0207 395 7731 or email press@refuge.org.uk. Out of hours: 07970894240.