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Support #FearFreeFootball Campaign When England Play - says Founder Purna Sen

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Football fans are being urged to support Brighton's #fearfreefootball campaign when the England team plays its first match this weekend.

#FearFreeFootball is aiming to highlight the ugly side of the beautiful game where domestic abuse increases if England loses or wins a match.

You can show your support by tweeting: I support @Purna_Sen’s #fearfreefootball campaign - stop the ugly side of the beautiful game #nodomesticviolence

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.

#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 said: “This Saturday please show your support for our campaign as well as the England team.

“Domestic violence is a year round issue but when England loses or wins a match this can make it worse and we need to make it clear that’s not acceptable.

“What you can do: refuse to participate in jokes about abuse, challenge men who abuse, or support women who are struggling with violence in their lives.

“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 please go to: http://www.riseuk.org.uk/index.asp?PageID=29#.U4yln7VZSpo

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. The national domestic violence helpline is 0808 2000 247 (freephone). If you are in danger call 999.  

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