Euro 2024: Offering Workplace Support For Potential Domestic Abuse Victims

Euro 2024: Offering Workplace Support For Potential Domestic Abuse Victims
Photo Credits - Karsten Winegeart via Unsplash

Euro 2024 marks another tournament where the nation hopes it’s ‘coming home’. While the event brings both joy and disappointment to households, it should never bring violence. Unfortunately, reports show a spike in domestic abuse during the Euros. Join us as we delve into these reports and explore how workplaces can support domestic abuse victims.

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Euro 2024 – Is Sport Related to Domestic Abuse?

33% of women and 25% of men have faced assault by an intimate partner, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV). Sadly, there appears to be a historical connection between large sporting occasions and a rise in such incidents. 

Pathway Project reported a 26% spike in domestic abuse during the Euros 2020 when England played. They also stated that the number rose by 38% when the national team were knocked out of the last World Cup.

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Worrying figures suggest that the same is currently occurring during Euro 2024. Leeds Women’s Aid has seen a 22% increase in calls received since the event’s inception, with 95% of callers being women. With more fans opting to watch the tournament from home, their chief executive, Nik Peasgood, is concerned.

Ms Peasgood said, “We’re very apprehensive… Research shows that people generally tend to watch more football at home now; often women will be in their home and they can’t escape”. She added, “If England lose, domestic abuse can increase by up to 40%; if they win, surprisingly, it can still increase by around a quarter”.

City Police Urge Vigilance on Domestic Abuse During Euro 2024

The City of London Police has urged licensed premises to address domestic abuse during Euro 2024 proactively. As previously mentioned, this is because such incidents are expected to rise.

Their data reveals that 90% of cases in the Square Mile occur outside the home, in places like hotels or bars. This is unique to this area, subsequently causing the police to outline several guidelines for premises to follow, including:

  • Not ignoring acts of violence or abuse: Public meeting spots should always report domestic violence to the police.
  • Supporting the victim: Premises should assign a staff member to stay with the victim in a private area. Listening, reassuring, and avoiding judgment of domestic abuse victims is crucial.
  • Coordinating with emergency services: Premises should designate a staff member to meet with the emergency service staff upon arrival.
  • Documenting incidents: If the victim leaves, a detailed record of the incident should be made. This includes statements, observations, and descriptions of injuries.
  • Ensuring security: Premises should maintain secure CCTV coverage.
City of London Police Urge Venues to Tackle Domestic Violence During Euro 2024
The police suggest venues:
1. Pay attention to violent acts
2. Support victims
3. Contact emergency services
4. Document any incidents
5. Maintain secure CCTV footage

City of London Police Commander Umer Khan emphasised the critical role of public meeting points. He said, “Licensed premises play a crucial role in the community during such events. Early intervention by staff can prevent domestic violence and other crimes”.

Moreover, following England’s Lionesses’ success in Euro 2022, women are 57% more likely to watch matches in pubs. Given that many domestic abuse victims are women, this is an area of focus for the police. 

Umer Khan stated, “Our White Ribbon Accreditation underscores our commitment to preventing violence against women and girls. We will relentlessly pursue offenders, create safer spaces, and build trust in policing”. With several measures, including increasing patrols and ensuring staff understand the “Ask for Angela” initiative, the police aim to keep everyone safe during the tournament.

Empowering Employers: Supporting Domestic Abuse Prevention and Employee Wellbeing

Euro 2024 highlighting domestic abuse offers an opportunity to outline how employers can contribute to its prevention efforts. While employers can’t solve the problem alone, they can support employees in accessing professional help. And it’s not just the employee who will benefit.

Reportedly, 75% of domestic abuse victims are targeted at their workplace. What’s more, 21% miss work directly due to the abuse they’ve faced. As a result, it’s been claimed that domestic abuse places a direct cost of £1.9 billion on the economy.

Yet, incidents like these can have more than just financial impacts. Victims of abuse often experience physical and emotional consequences, leading to absences from work and mental health issues. This can adversely affect employee productivity and career progression.

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However, employers can do something about it and offer effective domestic abuse support by:

  • Establishing a clear domestic abuse policy and support framework
  • Respecting individual situations without making assumptions
  • Fostering open communication to reduce stigma
  • Providing confidential spaces for discussions
  • Training leaders to recognise signs and respond appropriately

By taking such measures, employers can show the workforce that they care and offer an escape for those who feel trapped. Spotting domestic abuse can be very difficult, but here are some possible signs to look out for.

  • Behavioural changes, potentially comprising depression, anxiety or poor concentration
  • Sudden quality of work issues
  • Attendance irregularities
  • Excessive phone calls from a partner
  • Suspicious injuries or explanations for them

As mentioned, spotting the signs can be difficult, but a greater awareness of what to look for could make a difference.

Get Domestic Abuse Support

If you have read this article and require domestic abuse support, one of the following may be able to help.

  • National Domestic Abuse Helpline have a 24-hour helpline for women.
  • Men’s Advice Line offers a similar helpline service for men, open Monday through Friday, 10 am—5 pm.
  • Galop provides a helpline service at various times throughout the week for individuals in the LGBT+ community.
  • Karma Nirvana runs an honour-based abuse helpline open Monday through Friday, 9 am—5 pm.

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