It is that time of year again. All talk turns to rugby, and everyone eagerly anticipates the tension, the relief, the nail-biting, and the cheering that comes with seeing Wales through the Six Nations rugby tournament. As a nation, we love it.
However, it is important to recognise that sporting events such as these go hand-in-hand with a highly charged atmosphere. This atmosphere should be managed in a fun and appropriate way, but there are often certain individuals that take such opportunities to commit harm against other people. Traditionally, large sporting events like the 6 nations will see a significant increase in the number of domestic abuse reports.
Despite numerous campaigns by the Welsh Government and South Wales Police, domestic abuse reports surrounding national sporting events, such as the 6 nations, the world cup, or the autumn internationals sees the likelihood of domestic abuse cases rise exponentially, and it is not affected by a winning or losing result – domestic abuse reports shoot up when the home team have won or lost a match. Though a losing result can often see a further 10% increase in domestic abuse reports.
When Wales played England during the Six Nations tournament in 2012, South Wales Police recorded a 76% increase in domestic abuse incidents compared to the previous weekend. As Wales’s first 6 nations match is against England on February 6th, it is imperative to remember this statistic, and stand against domestic abuse in all forms. There is no excuse for domestic abuse.
Unfortunately, domestic abuse figures at the time of large sporting events continues to rise, and more needs to be done to specifically address the links between increased reporting and sporting events.
We hope that everyone can enjoy themselves throughout the 6 Nations tournament but we would also like to encourage everyone to be aware of the increased risk of domestic violence at this time, and to ‘Make a stand’ if they suspect a friend or loved one is experiencing domestic violence.
We encourage anyone who has been threatened with, or is experiencing any form of domestic abuse at any time of the year to call us on 01639 633580 in Neath Port Talbot and 01874 625146 in Powys for support and information. If you are unsafe always call 999. You can also call the All Wales Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Helpline on 0808 8010800, visit the Live Fear Free website, or take a look at the Calan DVS resources on our website here.