The Home Secretary has launched a new campaign ahead of the start of the 2014 World Cup, urging young men to think about the devastating consequences of domestic abuse.
Posters are going up in hundreds of male toilets across pubs and bars in England, and digital adverts are also featuring on the Sky Sports website and app.
The adverts will remind potential perpetrators of the terrible impact of domestic abuse – both physical and psychological - on relationships. They will also be signposted to support available through the charity Respect.
Announcing the new campaign, Home Secretary Theresa May said:
“Domestic abuse is not only tragic, it is illegal – and I will do everything in my power to see an end to it.
“For victims who remain on the receiving end of physical and emotional attacks, this year’s football World Cup will be no different to any other summer. But I am determined to see a society where violence against women and girls is not tolerated, where people speak out, and where no one has to suffer this form of abuse.
“That’s why I’ve launched this new campaign - to make men aware that domestic abuse will not be tolerated. Whether it’s physical violence, threats or coercive behaviour, it all counts as abuse. This campaign is part of our work to stop it.”
Respect runs a dedicated phoneline - 0808 802 4040 – that gives perpetrators and potential perpetrators help and advice on how to change their behaviour and build a better future for themselves and their family.
It is estimated that more than one in four women in England and Wales will be a victim of domestic abuse over the course of their lifetime and, on average, six women are killed by their partners or exes every month.
Aimed at 18 to 35-year-olds, the campaign will remind men that abuse doesn’t have to be physical – as threats and controlling behaviour also count.
Neil Blacklock, development director at Respect, said:
“Domestic abuse damages individuals, families and communities. Alongside protecting those at risk and enforcing the law, we must encourage perpetrators to accept responsibility for their behaviour and do something about it.
“This campaign will get the message to perpetrators that they can change, there is help available and they can speak to someone quickly and easily.
“In the last year we helped 45% more people by phone and email compared to the year before. Respect would urge people who are concerned about their behaviour to get in touch so they can improve their own and their family’s life.”
The campaign is part of a long-standing government commitment to put an end to violent, threatening and coercive behaviour against women and girls.
The cross-government strategy, A Call to End Violence Against Women and Girls, focuses on prevention of domestic abuse, providing services for victims, working with partners and improving conviction rates.
The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) is working with police and the Local Government Association (LGA), to encourage forces, licensing authorities and trade bodies to work together to ensure a safe and successful tournament.
Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the BBPA, said:
“Apart from being at the match itself, the best place to watch England in the World Cup is at the pub. That is why the BBPA, working with the Local Government Association and national policing lead, has produced guidance for publicans to work closely with authorities to ensure the success of Brazil 2014 events.
“Pubs take their role as responsible businesses seriously, as has been shown with the unit awareness campaign, drink driving and guidance on how to manage customers safely during the year’s World Cup.
“With that in mind, it is good to see the number of pubs supporting the Home Office campaign to raise awareness of domestic abuse when large numbers of customers will be visiting pubs during the World Cup.”