Domestic abuse victims are being urged to blow the whistle on offenders during the Euro 2012 football championship.
The Stoke-on-Trent Safer City Partnership is extending the hours of the local domestic violence helpline – 01782 205500 – to between 7.30pm and midnight on the days England play. It follows research which shows there is an increase in such crimes immediately before and after the national team plays.
The partnership, which is backed by Stoke-on-Trent City Council, is running a stark radio and billboard campaign under the title ‘a beaten team is no excuse for a beaten partner’ over the next two weeks. Females in the city centre were given personal safety bags ahead of England’s first group game against France last Friday (8 June). And bar staff across the city are wearing t-shirts with the strapline on for the England games.
Councillor Janine Bridges, cabinet member for housing, neighbourhoods and community safety, said:
“This campaign is designed to have the most impact possible, at a time when research shows incidents of domestic abuse rise.
“Domestic abuse can involve physical violence, emotional abuse, intimidation, control or sexual abuse of a partner or ex-partner. It can destroy the victim’s life, and traumatise the lives of children in the household who witness the abuse taking place.
“There can be no excuse for domestic abuse, and together with partners, we are committed to support victims and encourage them to come forward.”
One incident of domestic violence is reported every minute to the police, and on average two women a week are killed in the UK by their current or ex-partner, who is often under the influence of alcohol.
The 01782 205500 domestic violence helpline is also available between 10am and 3pm on weekdays. It is being extended to 7.30pm to midnight tomorrow (Friday 15 June), for England’s game against Sweden and next Tuesday (19 June) for the final group game against Ukraine. The extended helpline hours will also be available for the quarter final date of Saturday 23 June.