News – Children face greater risk of domestic abuse during World Cup, NSPCC warns

Domestic abuse towards children is set to rise during the World Cup, a leading charity has warned.

Kids in violent homes face a greater risk due to the increase in stress levels, alcohol consumption and gambling, the NSPCC said.

The charity revealed calls by vulnerable children to its helpline jumped by a third to more than 1,000 during the previous tournament in 2018.

One 13-year-old girl who called during the Russia World Cup said: “My brother gets very aggressive when he drinks. He shouts at us for no reason and demands money from my mum.

“Today, after the England game, he came home drunk and hit my mum in the face, so I had to call the police. He’s been causing trouble for years and, to be honest, I’m done with him.

“I wish he could just disappear from our lives so that me and my mum weren’t so scared all the time.”

The parent of another child who contacted the NSPCC four years ago said: “My daughter’s best friend told me her dad is hitting her and her mum. He drinks a lot at the pub and then gets abusive and violent when he’s back home.”

Jess, whose father subjected the family to years of violence, said: “We were always on eggshells, but when the football was on, the ending would feel inevitable.”

The warning comes as research earlier this year showed a direct correlation between high-profile sports events and reported cases of domestic abuse.

One fifth of children in the UK have experienced severe maltreatment, including sexual abuse and domestic violence.

The NSPCC is calling for a new Victims Bill with specific support for child victims of domestic violence, including pre-trial therapy.

NSPCC chief executive Sir Peter Wanless added: “The majority of fans across the country will enjoy the World Cup with friends and family, but for many children living with domestic abuse it will bring nervousness, fear, and even violence.

“Domestic abuse can decimate a child’s confidence and sense of security, and without support it can have a devastating impact at the time and long into the future.

“Anyone who hears or sees something worrying regarding a child while watching the football can reach out to the NSPCC Helpline for confidential advice.”

A government spokeswoman said: “Domestic abuse is an abhorrent crime, and we fully recognise the devastating impact it can have on children and young people.

“We are determined to better protect and support the victims of abuse, including children, and bring perpetrators to justice.

“This year, we are increasing funding for the Children Affected by Domestic Abuse Fund, allocating more than £4m to organisations providing specialist support to children experiencing domestic abuse.”

Anyone with any concerns about the welfare of a child can call the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000 or email

Children can contact Childline on 0800 1111 or visit

Verified by MonsterInsights