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West Mercia Women’s Aid is seeking to raise awareness of domestic abuse ahead of the 2014 Fifa World Cup Brazil, which kicks off later this week.

Research suggests that during big sporting events reports of domestic abuse increase.

The statistics make for sobering reading :
• During the 2006 World Cup held in Germany, Home Office data showed a 31% rise in domestic violence reports on the day of England's 1-0 victory over Paraguay;
• On the day of England's exit from the tournament, beaten on penalties by Portugal, reports increased by just over 30%;
• On average there was a 25% rise in domestic violence reports on the days of England games, with one in four offenders found to be under the influence of alcohol.

Police and partners working together across West Mercia are launching a joint campaign during the World Cup 2014 to deter perpetrators of domestic abuse and encourage those affected to seek help.
 
Det Supt Stephen Cullen said “Our statistics indicate that reported domestic abuse can increase during international football tournaments by 27% on days when England plays. Heightened emotions and alcohol among the population as a whole are all contributory factors.”

West Mercia Women’s Aid is supporting an international campaign that aims to celebrate women and their achievements.

International Women’s Day – which will take place on Saturday 8 March – is a global event celebrating the economic, social and political achievements of women; in China, Russia, Vietnam and Bulgaria, International Women’s Day is a national holiday.  The first International Women’s Day was held in 1911.

HRH The Princess Royal visited one of the region’s leading domestic abuse agencies today, Wednesday 15 January.