NO MORE YEARS OF HURT

By Teresa Parker, Head of Media, Brand & Relationships at Women’s Aid

This issue of BROOD comes during one of the most exciting international football tournaments, the Euros. For so many of us it’s a time to look forward to, a time of hope – the eternal hope that so many of us have – and a time to go out and enjoy ourselves. But for those living in refuges for survivors of domestic abuse, just the sound of the Euros might mean switching the TV off. I know from my work at Women’s Aid that there are refuges for women and children, who have fled to a refuge for safety, that will not turn the television on during big football tournaments because of it brings back horrific memories. While football doesn’t cause domestic abuse, where abuse already exists, at the time of big football games it can become more frequent or severe. Increased use of alcohol or recreational drugs can become a trigger for this increase, although many abusers do not drink or take drugs – the abuse is frequently about taking control rather than losing control.

Taking the opportunity to raise awareness during big international tournaments is important to us at Women’sAid, as it helps raise awareness of the issue, helping those living in fear of a partner know how to recognise what is happening and access support. During the last World Cup we launched the ‘He’s Coming Home’ campaign, which was an enormous success, increasing visits to support page on our website and encouraging donations for our lifesaving work. 1 in 8 mentions of the World Cup and England were about the campaign on TikTok, reaching so many more people than before.

Hollyoaks Supports Womens Aid

“ I always dreaded the football season, for my ex it was another ‘excuse’ to get off his face on cocaine and drink too much. He would tell me its what the lads do. For him it was fun for me it was fear. Fear of what mood he would be in when he came home, walking on egg shells not knowing what abuse was coming next.”

Emma was terrified of her ex, but is now with a supportive new partner. The more we raise awareness, the more people can get safely away from abusive partners and rebuild their lives.

At Women’s Aid we are doing important work with football clubs and organisations including at Fulham (picture taken below at the International Women’s Day game, Fulham vs Brighton) to raise awareness of domestic abuse and the attitudes that mean it is tolerated. There is something everyone can do to help end domestic abuse, from learning what to say if someone told you they were experiencing it, to putting up a poster in your workplace.

Before the Euros we have been also raising awareness with Hollyoaks, who we are working on the Cleo and Abe storyline with, with the Home Office and the ENOUGH campaign to encourage bystanders to stand up against domestic abuse. Tyler Conti who plays Abe recently rode his bike from Liverpool, where the show is set, to Paris, to raise vital funds – there really is something everyone can do!

For help and support, or to take part in a challenge in support of Women’s Aid like Tyler, go to www.womensaid.org.uk 

Fundraiser by Women’s Aid and Alice Liveing : Women’s Aid Euro Fundraiser 2024 (gofundme.com)

Teresa Parker
no more years of hurt
Dean Holden and Danielle Nicholls
Anti Ageing One Truth 818

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