Domestic Violence And The World Cup

A disturbing new PSA in the United Kingdom has revealed domestic violence increases by 25 percent after a World Cup game played by England, which jumps to 38 percent when England loses. It gets worse: These figures are indicative of a global trend. According to the Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse (ADFVC), research across the globe have revealed a correlation between high-profile sports matches and domestic violence.

It's not getting better, either. According to the criminologist at Lancaster University who performed the study in the UK, there has been a marked rise in violence during World Cups since 2006. In the U.S., a Berkeley professor recently linked domestic violence to NFL losses.

The British video, which depicts a woman waiting in fear as a World Cup match ends, has gone viral, with many Twitter users tweeting the hashtag #standupworldcup, and urging fans not to stay silent in the face of domestic assaults. In Brazil, another campaign has been launched to try to curb rates of domestic violence during the World Cup.

On June 12, UN Women reported that in preparation for the event, Brazil launched a public service campaign to promote resources for women who have experienced domestic violence. The campaign, which primarily consists of posters, raises awareness about help lines and urges everyone in the community to take a stand against domestic violence.

The campaign also advertises a new app, developed by UN Women and the British Embassy, which makes information for victims readily available and helps people identify instances of domestic violence.

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There are a number of steps being advocated by experts on the subject. The ADFVC argues that professional soccer players need to set an example, pointing out that such players are rarely disciplined or shunned by their teams or coaches. Last month, convicted rapist Ched Evans was offered a contract worth three million euros with Sheffield United.

Many also point to the hyper-masculinity cultivated by the World Cup and professional soccer environment. The Telegraph reported that the hashtag #evertonwifesrunforyourlives was being casually used on Twitter after matches where the team Everton lost. The hashtag is now being used to raise awareness about domestic violence.