Domestic violence warning issued ahead of the Rugby World Cup

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RUGBY residents are being advised by Warwickshire against Domestic Abuse to be aware of the link between sporting events and domestic violence.

Recent research by Durham University entitled ‘End violence against women’ has highlighted the connection between events such as international football matches and incidents of domestic violence.

Among the key findings were that sports-related violence against women occurs in a range of settings as well: homes, pubs, clubs and public spaces.

Excessive alcohol consumption is a key contributory factor to the violence and this is made particularly dangerous when coupled with extreme competitive tensions and the group atmosphere that major events are generally watched in.

The Home Office has expressed its concern at the correlation stating that ‘major sporting events do not cause domestic violence, as perpetrators are responsible for their actions, but the levels of alcohol consumption linked to the highly charged emotional nature of these events seem to increase the prevalence of such incidents’.

Ahead of the Rugby World Cup, which starts on Friday and runs until October 23, Cllr Richard Hobbs, portfolio holder for community protection said: “Of the 7000 reported cases of domestic violence reported to Warwickshire Police each year, around half involve alcohol.

“Consider also that sporting events increase alcohol consumption and make for a highly-charged atmosphere, with emotions running high and it is not hard to see why the Home Office becomes concerned about domestic violence around the periods when major sporting events are taking place.

“We urge people to come forward and get help if they are the victim of domestic violence or are particularly intimidated when their partners drink excessively. It is important that they call 999 and act quickly as alcohol causes a loss of inhibition and violence can very quickly spiral out of control.”

For help with domestic abuse issues or to find out about the Warwickshire Against Domestic Abuse partnership please visit www.talk2someone.org.uk or call the confidential Talk2Someone helpline 0800 408 1552 which is free from a landline and not itemised on bills.

Support is also available for abusers to help them to change how alcohol affects the way they treat other people via the local Community Alcohol Service on 02476 385688.