Cheshire East Council and their partners want to remind people affected by domestic abuse that they are not alone during the upcoming European Football Championship.
The rise in incidents of domestic abuse during and after football matches is well documented. In 2014 a study found that reported cases of intimate partner violence increased by 38 per cent when England lost and by 26 per cent when they won or drew in the tournament during the World Cup.
Support is on offer from a number of services including a live web chat hosted by Cheshire Police that takes place on Wednesday 16 June at 10am. Anyone with questions or worries can join in by submitting their concerns anonymously. Family members or friends are also able to find out what they should do if they are concerned about loved ones. Domestic abuse specialists will be on hand to answer queries or concerns.
To access the live web chat search for @cheshirepolice on Facebook and click on the events tab.
Help is also available via the Open the Door website which provides support to residents across Cheshire 24/7. The website offers people experiencing abuse, people with abusive behaviours, or friends and family, to access information about how to spot the signs of domestic abuse and how to get early help.
Many of the initial signs and symptoms of abuse can be tricky to spot and include:
Undermining you, so you lose confidence
Isolating you from your friends and family
Making all the decisions in your life, including what you wear, who you talk to and where you go and when
Making you do things that you don’t want to do
Controlling your money
Following you when you go out
Needing to know where you are at all times
Councillor Kathryn Flavell, chair of Cheshire East Council’s children and families committee said: “We know that the last 18 months has been an extremely difficult time for anyone who has been experiencing domestic abuse. The upcoming European Football Championship will also be a worry.
“We know it can affect women and men of all ages and backgrounds, from different cultures and traditions. It can happen in any type of relationship – gay, straight, married or not, with or without children.”
“Domestic abuse doesn’t have to stay behind closed doors. There’s lots of support available across Cheshire to help you. Don’t suffer in silence, talk to someone who can help.”
Beverley Wrighton, deputy chief executive of MyCWA, a Cheshire-based charity supporting families affected by domestic abuse said: "If you have doubts about your relationship, feel threatened or unsafe, have concerns about your own behaviour or be worried about a friend or relative.
“Whatever the reason, we have the right people, in the right place, at the right time to help you.”
If you, or someone you know is in a relationship that doesn’t quite feel right, speak to someone about it. You can get help and advice and access self-support services at: openthedoorcheshire.org.uk or call 0300 123 5101. In an emergency, always ring 999.