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Expert warns of increased domestic violence during Euros

Millions of people across the country are eagerly anticipating the start of Euro 2024 – but a legal expert at ORJ has warned that major football tournaments also lead to a spike in domestic violence.

The tournament kicks off in Germany on Friday with England starting their campaign against Serbia two days later.

But while the tournament will undoubtedly produce a lift in national pride and an economic boost, an expert at Stafford-based law firm ORJ has warned that big tournaments invariably lead to an increase in reports of domestic abuse.

A report from Pathway Project showed that domestic abuse rates during Euro 2020 increased by 26% when England were playing and by 38% when England were knocked out of the World Cup in 2022.

There is also evidence that alcohol-related incidents of domestic abuse increase, even when the national team wins.

Our Head of Family Law Jackie Meredith said: “Many of us are looking forward to the Euros, which is an opportunity for friends and families to get together and cheer for their team to win, experiencing the highs and lows of the game.

“Unfortunately, for many people who are in toxic relationships, major football competitions can increase the violence they face at the hands of their abusers.

“There are many things that can play into this outside of just the inevitable disappointment of England losing, including increased alcohol intake, drug taking and gambling addictions.

“It’s important that victims of domestic abuse know they are not alone during the next few weeks.”

There are other statistics to back up Pathway Project’s assertion that domestic abuse increases during major football tournaments, including a study by Metropolitan Police that showed reported incidents rose by more than 14% during Euro 2020.

Jackie said domestic abuse is something she and her colleagues have to be aware of across all areas of family law.

“In every area of our work we have to be alive and sensitive to the fact domestic abuse could be a factor,” she said. “It could be physical, or financial control or they could be being coerced.

“It’s a really sensitive area. Here at ORJ we can work with victims about obtaining protective Orders such as Non-Molestation Orders or Occupation Orders, as well as signposting them to other organisations for support.”

ORJ can help with all forms of domestic abuse and can also assist in relationship breakdown, married or unmarried, such as financial matters or issues that may have arisen regarding children.  We can also assist with Pre and Post Nuptial Agreements, Cohabitation Agreements and Separation Agreements.

Contact Jackie on Jackie.Meredith@orj.co.uk or 01785 223440.