The start of the World Cup has sparked concern about increased domestic abuse throughout England and Wales and prompted law enforcement to institute preventative measures to protect women at risk of violence. A study performed by a University of Lancaster criminologist over the last three World Cups revealed a significant increase in domestic abuse in the aftermath of English National Team matches. While the increase was more drastic after a loss, the study's author found a significant spike irrespective of the result. Equally disturbing was the increased frequency of such abuse across World Cups: each World Cup witnessed higher and higher levels of domestic abuse. This information has been corroborated by a national research study examining the same phenomenon.
Researchers suggest that drinking, stress and a culture of competition factor into the increase in domestic violence during the World Cup. Police forces throughout England and Wales have taken note of these studies and launched several programs to quell potential violence. Examples of such efforts include increased patrols, the institution of domestic violence intelligence teams, and visits to at-risk individuals before World Cup matches. Police are also utilizing social media and advertising such as a billboard campaign by the Essex Police which addresses both the potential victim and perpetrator of such attacks.
Complied from: Laville, Sandra, Police fear rise in domestic violence during World Cup, The Guardian (June 8, 2014).