World Cup leads to fears of increase in domestic violence

World Cup fever is taking over the nation once again, with England securing their progression to the knockout stages in comfortable style. However,…

World Cup fever is taking over the nation once again, with England securing their progression to the knockout stages in comfortable style. However, this festival of football comes with a dark side, as research suggests that the combination of heightened emotion and increased alcohol consumption may lead to increased rates of domestic abuse following England games.

An analysis of domestic abuse rates during England’s World Cup campaigns from 2002 to 2014 carried out by Lancaster University revealed that police received 26% more callouts following an England victory or draw - and a staggering 38% more following a defeat.

Victims of domestic abuse 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 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.

There are other options. 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. Crucially, 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, financial or psychological abuse. If you are experiencing any form of domestic abuse, you should consider contacting a Family Law solicitor for further advice about what can be done.

Matthew Taylor is a Family Law Solicitor at national law firm, Weightmans LLP
Matthew.taylor@weightmans.com

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