Tackling the 'deep cultural problem' of sport-related domestic violence

By GEM Staff Reporter in Crime

Ogmore Labour AM Huw Irranca-Davies is pressing the Welsh Government to tackle a rise in domestic violence which occurs during major sporting events, such as the Six Nations.

He asked Communities Secretary Carl Sargeant at the National Assembly what can be done to address the problem as he said there is evidence of increased domestic abuse and violence coinciding with major sporting events like the Six Nations, the Super Bowl final, the football World Cup, and others.

Mr Irranca-Davies said the Government, the Welsh Rugby Union, players and others have tried to raise awareness of this “deep cultural problem” and to suggest measures to turn it around.

He told Mr Sargeant: “When Wales played England in Cardiff during the Six Nations in 2009, South Wales Police recorded a nearly 80 per cent increase in domestic abuse incidents, compared to the previous weekend.

“In the 2012 tournament, there were over 4,300 calls to the all-Wales domestic abuse and sexual violence helpline. That was an increase of almost 10 per cent on the same period the previous year.

“When Wales played England during the Six Nations that year, South Wales Police recorded a 76 per cent increase in the numbers of domestic abuse incidents compared to the previous weekend.

“Bringing this into the open, raising awareness of the increased threat of domestic abuse around major sporting events is only the first stage.

“We’ve all got a role to play in highlighting this, and rugby players themselves have spoken out previously.

“But what more can the Government, and its partners, do to tackle the tough cultural and individual roots of this ongoing problem?”

Mr Sargeant said the Government is committed to working with its partners to tackle domestic violence.

He said: “Our aim is a more coherent approach to publicity with sustained activity to as wide an audience as possible.

“There will be an increased level of social media activity through the Live Fear Free campaign during the period of the Six Nations.”

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