[T]his World Cup, Cumbria Police have teamed up with Carlisle United to send a clear message that domestic abuse should never be tolerated.
During the campaign Cumbria Police, Carlisle United and a number of partner agencies will be spreading the message of ‘Love The Game, Love Your Family’ which underlines that no matter what the result, football should never lead a person to subjecting loved ones to abuse.
The campaign will also see the Constabulary work with PubWatch members across the county to disrupt and prevent criminal offences, keep the public safe and create a positive atmosphere during the games. With many supporters watching matches in bars and pubs across the county, bar packs will be issued as a well-placed reminder to supporters that domestic abuse will not be tolerated.
Detective Superintendent Vicki Ellis, Constabulary Lead for Domestic Abuse, said: “Football can be an emotive sport and it is well documented that reports of domestic abuse can increase during international tournaments. There is simply no excuse for domestic abuse, the outcome of a football match should not result in criminal behaviour or actions that harm another person.
“Our campaign message is ‘Love The Game, Love Your Family’. This means that we want you to enjoy this summer’s World Cup and fingers crossed it is successful for whichever country you support. However there is a strong caveat that no matter what the result please treat your loved ones with love and respect. You are responsible for your own actions.
“I am delighted that Carlisle United are wholeheartedly supporting this campaign and I would like to thank them for getting involved. I genuinely believe that their support will help us reach more people with this important message.
“A lot of people will be watching the matches in one of the county’s bars or pubs and that is why we are working closely with PubWatch members during this campaign to spread the message and ensure the safety of the public.
“Importantly, if you believe you are a victim of domestic abuse please come forward and report it to police. We can help you and we work with trusted partner agencies to supply victims with the support they require.
“Domestic abuse doesn’t have to be physical violence, it can be psychological abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, emotional abuse and / or coercive and controlling behaviour. We will listen to all victims and fully investigate any offences to ensure that offenders are prosecuted.”
Carlisle United chairman Andrew Jenkins said: “We are pleased that we’ve been asked to support what is such an important campaign. If we can help to spread the message and raise awareness then that can only be a good thing.
“The message from the police is a very good and strong one, and we agree with the sentiments wholeheartedly. Football is a game which is all about passion and emotion, but that should never lead to instances of violence or abuse of any kind.
“We urge anyone who is subjected to or witnesses anything of this kind to report it as quickly as possible and to heed the advice given out by this campaign.”
Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall said: “It is a sad fact that historically, domestic abuse increases during such events as the World Cup, and quite often this is linked to drinking too much alcohol. Therefore I am delighted that Carlisle United are taking such a proactive role in helping to get the message out that this sort of behaviour will not be tolerated in Cumbria.
“I would urge anyone affected by domestic abuse to heed the police advice and have the courage and confidence to come forward. Only by reporting this appalling crime will the police be able to take the necessary action to enable perpetrators to be brought to justice.
“I would also say to victims that support services are available within the county to help you through the processes and to help you cope and recover from your experience.”
Victims can contact the Independent Domestic and Sexual Abuse service themselves or be referred in by an agency or the police. The service includes a support line which is available 24 hours a day – the telephone number is 0808 16 89 111.
The Bridgeway is also available for victims of sexual assault or rape 24 hours a day, and their number is 0808 118 6432.