Police and council send message out to domestic abuse victims not to suffer in silence as World Cup nears

Domestic abuse victims in Surrey are being reminded they are not alone as the country heads towards the World Cup and a possible upsurge of violence in the home.

Surrey County Council and Surrey Police have teamed up in the run-up to this year's opening games in Brazil to spread the message.

The last time the national team played in the 2010 tournament, Surrey saw a steep rise in reports of domestic abuse.

A county council spokesman said: “The day England drew 0-0 with Algeria in South Africa four years ago, the number of domestic abuse reports logged in Surrey was 61% higher than seven days earlier.”

The trend of increases in reports of domestic abuse across Surrey continued on days England played in the 2010 World Cup.

On June 12 that year, when England played the USA, the 44 incidents reported meant a rise of nearly 19% in incidents, compared to seven days earlier.

On June 18, the increase was nearly 61% when England played Algeria, with the police logging 37 calls – 14 up on a week earlier.

Five days later, with England in action against Slovenia, the 51 reports were ten more than seven days before, representing a 24% increase.

And on June 27, as England played Germany, 56 incidents were recorded - an increase of eight, or nearly 17%, on a week earlier.

Kay Hammond, Surrey County Council’s cabinet associate responsible for police services, said: “England fans know all too well how painful poor World Cup displays and early exits are to watch, but the terrible truth is that they can hurt much more for domestic abuse victims.”

Coun Hammond said: “It’s appalling that the police have to deal with so many incidents and it is vital that whatever month, week or day it is, people know protection and support is available.”

Detective Superintendent Jon Savell from Surrey Police’s Public Protection Team, said: “The fact that it takes around 35 incidents before a person experiencing domestic abuse comes forward means that a lot of people are suffering in silence.”

Det Supt Savell said: “Everyone has the right to live free from abuse and the Surrey Against Domestic Abuse partnership provides the support people need to feel confident in coming forward and speaking out.” He urged: “Break the cycle by taking the first step.”

Surrey County Council and Surrey Police are among the organisations working together to tackle domestic abuse in the county.

England will start their World Cup campaign against Italy next Saturday (June 14).

The contacts for domestic abuse support in Surrey are Surrey Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency, the Surrey 24-hour helpline on 01483 776822, and the Surrey Against Domestic Abuse website at: www.surreyagainstda.info

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