Domestic Violence and Football

Domestic Violence & Football

Written by guest blogger, Annabelle Martin

Domestic Violence & Football

Before this article starts, if you or someone you love is struggling with DV, there are people here to listen and help. (Women’s Aid for women, Men’s Advice Line for men, and Galop for LGBTQIA+)

Here’s a scenario for you: You’re at home watching the footie (could be the EUROs, World Cup, and so on). Then, you hear the sound you’ve been dreading: The final whistle. You start to panic. Your pulse quickens, your heart races, and you feel like you’re struggling to breathe. You hear fans cheering and singing: “It’s coming home, it’s coming home, it’s coming!!” But all you’re thinking is: He’s coming home, she’s coming home, THEY’RE COMING…. Loud knock

Now, I know this is a powerful topic to talk about, but with the Euros happening right now, I felt that this was the right time to address one of football’s darkest sides. Whenever England plays, domestic violence cases go up, regardless of the result (26% if we win/draw and 38% if we lose). Women’s Aid did a campaign in 2022 for the World Cup (He’s Coming Home) to address the link, and this year’s campaign is: No More Years Of Hurt (lyrics from 3 Lions 98, a popular football song).

“The campaign features specially created classic football scarves imprinted with well-known football chants that have been subverted to highlight the domestic abuse emergency. The scarves are emblazoned with slogans, such as: “No More Years of Hurt,” “He’s Coming Home,” and “England Till I Die.” In addition to the slogans, the scarves are also interwoven with some of the common misogynistic terms and sayings that perpetuate domestic abuse. The words are not immediately noticeable but become clearer and more recognizable the longer you look, reflecting how domestic abuse in our society is hiding in plain sight.” (Maclugash, 2024)

Now, I’ve been very lucky to have never been in a relationship that involved DV; however, people very close to me have, and I know that looking the other way or hoping it’ll go away is NOT AN OPTION!! If you do that, one day they might not be here anymore…

If someone comes to you and tells you they are a victim of domestic abuse, here’s what to do: Listen to them and take it seriously. Give them time to talk, but do not push them to talk if they do not want to. Acknowledge they’re in a frightening and difficult situation. Support their decisions, and if they are ready to report the abuser, be by their side for support.

If you decide to report it yourself, here are 3 ways to get help: If you are safe enough to call 999 but can’t speak freely, dial 55 afterwards.

From a mobile:

  1. Dial 999.
  2. Listen to the questions from the 999 operator.
  3. Respond by coughing or tapping the handset if you can. This tells the operator it’s a genuine emergency and you’ll be put through to the police.
  4. If prompted, press 55. (Midlothian, 2018)

If you are outside and near a pub or restaurant, go in and ask for Angela (It’s a code for I’m in danger and need help).

If you are home and need help but can’t speak freely, call 999 and make a fake pizza delivery (The call handler should ask if you can or can’t speak freely, and if you say no, they will carry on with the call and get the police on standby).

(, 2022)

To any survivors of DV reading this: I see you, I hear you, and I hope from the bottom of my heart that you are in a much better place now. To people who are struggling with DV right now: Don’t suffer in silence. This is not and will never be your fault, and I hope you can get out of there soon.




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