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Summer of football leads to fears of domestic violence

This summer sees football's Euro 2016 kicking off in France on 10 June, with England, Wales and Northern Ireland participating from the home nations.

This summer sees football's Euro 2016 kicking off in France on 10 June, with England, Wales and Northern Ireland participating from the home nations. While the vast majority of fans will watch the action unfold peacefully, research suggests that the heady cocktail of heightened emotion and increased alcohol consumption may lead to increased rates of domestic violence.

An analysis of domestic violence rates during England's World Cup campaigns in 2002, 2006 and 2010 carried out by Lancaster University revealed that police received 26% more callouts following an England victory and 38% more following a defeat.

Victims of domestic violence have a number of legal routes to protect themselves from further attacks. The first port of call in the aftermath of an incident, or where a potential victim finds themselves in danger, should be the police. Criminal charges may follow and a Restraining Order can then be made restricting contact between the parties.

Where there are no criminal charges or where a police investigation is pending, the Family Court has the power to grant Non-Molestation and Occupation Orders. A Non-Molestation Order is similar to a Restraining Order and will commonly include provisions that someone should not use or threaten violence, harass or intimidate another. It can also limit communications between the parties.

An Occupation Order can be used to exclude a party from a property and restrict them from coming within a certain distance of a property. Both forms of Order will include a power of arrest so that criminal proceedings can be brought swiftly in the event of a breach.

Not all domestic abuse takes a physical form and the same orders can be made in respect of emotional, sexual or psychological abuse. If you are experiencing any form of domestic abuse, whether linked to the summer's festival of football or not, you should consider contacting a Family Law solicitor for further advice about what can be done.