How Well Do You Understand the Link Between Major Sporting Events and Domestic Abuse?

How Well Do You Understand the Link Between Major Sporting Events and Domestic Abuse?

Tonight is the opening game of the UEFA Euro 2024 for many the air is full of excitement but for others, there is nothing but fear and dread as the chances of suffering at the hands of their perpetrator rise.

Did you know? Research from the National Centre for Domestic Violence reveals that domestic abuse incidents increase by 26% when our national team plays, 38% if they lose, and 11% the day after, regardless of the outcome. Remember how close England came to winning Euro 2020? Most of us went to bed feeling metaphorically blue whilst many others went to bed physically blue and emotionally defeated. Win, lose or draw there is no denying this international sporting event stirs up far more than excitement across the nation. Is your workplace prepared? Can you spot the signs, changes in behaviour and so on? Have you got a list of resources and helplines readily available for those who may need it? Let’s unpack the factors that contribute to the disturbing increase in domestic abuse and help you recognise how the workplace can serve as a critical support system.

What are the factors contributing to the rise?

  1. Alcohol Consumption: Sporting events are often accompanied by increased alcohol consumption, which can exacerbate aggressive behaviour and reduce inhibitions. Alcohol is a known risk factor for domestic abuse, impairing judgment and increasing the likelihood of violent outbursts. That said, Detective Kirk Pender-Harris (Domestic Abuse Investigation Unit Northampton) rightly reports that Being an abuser is a choice. Using the results of a football game or drinking too much alcohol as an excuse to enact domestic abuse is unacceptable and deplorable”. Hear more of what he had to say here. Encourage your teams to think twice before excessively drinking. This may prevent the escalation of abuse and save some from abuse fuelled by excessive drinking, during this month-long tournament.
  1. Heightened Emotions: The intense emotions associated with sports—elation from a win, and frustration from a loss—can act as triggers for individuals predisposed to abusive behaviour. The emotional highs and lows can escalate situations at home, leading to violence.
  1. Increased Stress: Financial stakes, whether from betting or the costs associated with following the event, can add an additional layer of stress. Combined with the pressure and emotional investment in the outcome, this leads to increased tension in households.

The Role of the Workplace

Corporate organisations have a unique and crucial role in mitigating the impact of domestic abuse. Workplaces can serve as the only safe space and readily accessible point of intervention for those experiencing domestic abuse. Here’s how organisations can help during major sporting events like UEFA Euro 2024:

  1. Raising Awareness: Educate employees about the potential link between sporting events and domestic abuse. Providing information and resources can help employees recognise signs of abuse in their colleagues and themselves. You can find a list of useful resources and helplines here.
  2. Training and Support: Offer training sessions for managers and staff on how to handle disclosures of domestic abuse and provide appropriate support. Understanding how to approach these sensitive conversations is key to offering effective assistance. Did you know? We offer tailored lunch and learn sessions; these effective sessions are an excellent starting point for businesses starting on their understanding of domestic abuse and the role of the workplace.
  3. Clear Policies and Resources: Develop and communicate clear policies on domestic abuse. Ensure employees know the resources available to them, including helplines, counselling services, and legal support. You can download Sharon’s Policy here.
  4. Flexibility and Safety Planning: Provide flexible working arrangements and support safety planning for employees who may be at risk. This could include adjustments to work hours, remote working options or the opposite encouraging employees into the office during this period and increased security measures.
  5. Creating a Supportive Environment: Ensure the workplace feels safe and supportive, encourage open conversations and ensure no stigma attached to seeking help.

As we enter UEFA Euro 2024, organisations must recognise the potential increase in domestic abuse and take proactive steps to support their employees. This isn’t written to scare you; by raising awareness and creating a supportive environment, workplaces can play a pivotal role in protecting individuals and mitigating the impact of domestic abuse. Sport should be a source of joy and unity, not a trigger for harm, and together, we can work towards ensuring a safe and supportive environment for all.

If you or someone in your business would benefit from a FREE discovery call, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Domestic Abuse Education.

📧 [email protected]

📞 01223 608244

🔗 Domestic Abuse Education.



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