Powerful campaign highlights alarming rise in domestic violence during the World Cup

Danielle Fowler
Freelance Writer

A powerful campaign has launched in a bid to raise awareness of the alarming rise in domestic violence during the World Cup.

During this year’s football tournament, a number of studies have come to light which highlight the correlation between domestic abuse and football.


According to research conducted by academics at Lancaster University back in 2013, reports of violence increased by 26 percent when England played and 38 percent when they lost.


To raise further awareness the National Centre for Domestic Violence launched a hard-hitting campaign in collaboration with communications agency, J Walter Thompson London (JWT), before the semi-final game against Croatia.

The powerful poster depicts a woman with blood trickling from her nose as it forms a St George’s flag across her face. In the right-hand corner of the image, the campaign’s title is clear: “If England get beaten, so will she.”

England lost the match to Croatia 2-1.

The hard-hitting campaign is designed to raise awareness of the disturbing correlation between football and domestic abuse [Photo: JWT]

The campaign also aimed to help raise awareness that men can be affected as victims of abuse too. It  featured images of a man with bruises resembling the colours of the French and Belgium flag.

“As fans across the world watch each game with trepidation so too do the partners of some of those fans,” creative director of JWT, Jo Wallace, told Yahoo Style UK.


“This lesser known, darker aspect of football is clearly communicated with this impactful campaign, ‘The Not-So-Beautiful Game’,” Jo added.

“The team saw these stats and immediately created this excellent work to help reach and support victims of Domestic Violence during the World Cup when they are in particular danger.”

After England’s won against Sweden on Saturday 7 July, the country was inundated with 999 calls – significantly more than on New Year’s Eve.

According to a recent study, domestic violence cases increase by 26% when England play and 38% when the team loses [Photo: JWT]

According to the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), 387 football-related incidents were recorded, most of which were alcohol-related.

Since the 2018 World Cup kick-started, 1,086 football-related incidents have been recorded including 226 cases of domestic abuse.

If you or someone you know is suffering from sexual or domestic abuse, don’t suffer in silence, call 1800 RESPECT any time of day or night.

For confidential advice and support 24/7, call the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service on 1800 737 732.

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