Women’s Aid teams up with football to give domestic violence the red card

Women’s Aid, supported by the Premier League and BT Sport today held a Parliamentary event to launch Football United Against Domestic Violence, a campaign working with football clubs, organisations, players and fans to help raise awareness of domestic violence and the sexist attitudes that underpin abuse against women. The launch was attended by a number of MPs, celebrities and people working in the footballing community, including Former England goalkeeper and BT Sport Presenter David James, singer Jahméne Douglas, and television presenter Charlie Webster.

As the Football World Cup 2014 kicks off in Brazil, Women’s Aid is using the worldwide focus on football to launch the campaign, to enable the football community to speak out publicly against domestic violence in society, making football a place where perpetrators of domestic abuse are not welcome.

About the campaign

Women’s Aid is working with national footballing bodies, leading sports media outlets, football clubs, players and fans to make violence against women always unacceptable.

Women’s Aid is asking football clubs to get involved by signing the Football United Club Pledge:

  • To send a clear message in their club that violence against women and children is completely unacceptable.
  • To break the silence that allows domestic violence to continue – to actively talk about it and raise awareness of the support available to those directly affected.
  • To provide positive role models to younger people in the community, encouraging healthy and non-abusive relationships.
  • To share news of our work with Football United Against Domestic Violence 

Individuals can also make a pledge to get involved by encouraging their club to sign up in support of the campaign.

Polly Neate, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid said:

“Two women a week are killed by partners or ex-partners, and there’s evidence that reports of domestic violence rise following World Cup games. Most people are opposed to domestic violence, but it is often not talked about in public. We are creating this opportunity for the footballing community to join with us to make a positive difference now to raise awareness and reduce domestic violence in the future.”

David James said:

“All forms of domestic violence are completely unacceptable, and it is shocking to think that there is a rise in reporting following England games. I wholeheartedly support the Football United Against Domestic Violence campaign, and hope that clubs get involved and work with Women’s Aid to help raise awareness with their supporters.”

Home Secretary Theresa May said:

“Putting an end to violent, threatening and coercive behaviour against women and girls is one of my key priorities – and I fully back this important work by Women’s Aid.

“Domestic abuse is not only tragic, it is illegal – and I am determined to do everything in my power to see an end to it.

“I have launched a new campaign this week to highlight the consequences of abuse to young men and urge them to seek support to change their behaviour.”

National Police Lead for Domestic Abuse, Assistant Chief Constable Louisa Rolfe said:

“There is never an excuse for domestic abuse of any kind. There is a potential for an increase in domestic abuse during match days so police forces are running campaigns with local support services to prevent abuse and officers will take action to keep victims safe.

“Football United Against Domestic Abuse brings people together to stand against domestic abuse – an important message that people need to understand for us to reduce the number of people suffering and dying at the hands of someone close to them in our society.”

Charlie Webster, Ambassador for Women’s Aid and Football United Against Domestic Violence, said:

“I have one goal: to try and stop all forms of abuse, and this new initiative from Women’s Aid is vital in helping promote positive relationships and stamping out domestic violence. I’m a massive football fan and am delighted to be working with clubs and players to help promote this incredible cause’

For more details about the Football United Campaign, or for launch photographs, please contact Franki Hackett in the Women’s Aid Press Office on 0207 566 2511 or [email protected]