A social media campaign to combat the potential increase in domestic violence during this year’s World Cup is being launched in Brighton and Hove.
With the opening ceremony just a week away, #FearFreeFootball is aiming to highlight the ugly side of the beautiful game where domestic abuse surges if England loses a football match.
Figures obtained from police forces across England under the Freedom of Information Act showed that when England beat Slovenia in 2010 domestic violence reports increased by 27%.
And when England lost 4-1 to Germany, domestic violence increased by 29% - however when England drew matches there was no noticeable impact overall.
Domestic violence is a year round issue but if England loses a match this will make it worse and we need to make it clear that’s not acceptable," Purna Sen.
#FearFreeFootball Campaign Founder Purna Sen, board member of RISE - a local domestic abuse charity - and Labour’s Brighton Pavilion parliamentary candidate, says people should not be in fear for their safety during the World Cup.
Purna’s work has included research, publications and activism on violence against women, domestic violence and trafficking and advising women’s NGOs.
Purna said: “Unfortunately while the World Cup will be great fun for most of us for some people it will be a terrible experience.
“Domestic violence is a year round issue but if England loses a match this will make it worse and we need to make it clear that’s not acceptable.
“I’m calling on perpetrators of domestic abuse to come forward and get help and I want the victims and their families to know support is out there if they can find the courage to make that phone call.
“We can all do our bit to make a difference by showing our support for #FearFreeFootball this World Cup, please donate to the relevant charities if you can and spread the word about the ugly side of the beautiful game.”
Purna Sen and supporters will be raising money for RISE during the World Cup. If you would like to donate visit RISE's website.
Or show your support by tweeting: I support @Purna_Sen’s #fearfreefootball campaign - stop the ugly side of the beautiful game #nodomesticviolence
Helplines are available for victims and for concerned friends and family members who want advice but these services need support as they will see demand increase.
Rise works in Brighton & Hove and throughout West Sussex, offering services that include refuge accommodation, crisis appointments, a helpline, training and preventative education.
To contact Rise for support, call 01273 622 822
Notes for editors:
For more information visit Purna’s website:
Information on the FoI requests can be found here: