Domestic Violence Increases by 50% During Football Wins

  • A study by Warwick Business School found domestic abuse increased by 47 per cent on the day England won a World Cup match.
  • Researchers analysed crime statistics from West Midlands Police stretching from 2010 to 2019 and found that domestic abuse is a lived experience of constant fear.
  • The NSPCC issued a warning after data showed a surge in inquiries about children enduring violence at home during the 2018 World Cup.

A recent study discovered that domestic violence increases by roughly 50% after England wins World Cup games. The study, conducted by Warwick Business School, found that on days when England won a World Cup or European Championship match, spouse abuse and violence rose by 47%. According to the study, reports of domestic violence cases involving alcohol were 18% more common than usual and domestic abuse rates were higher than average the day after a victory.

Domestic abuse organisations regularly issue warnings, pointing out that while neither alcohol nor the World Cup cause or justify domestic abuse, they can intensify established patterns and provide offenders a chance to escalate mistreatment.

Researchers studied crime data from the West Midlands Police from 2010 to 2019 and published their findings in the journal Social Science and Medicine. “It is important to recognise that for victims, domestic abuse does not occur after a football game every two or four years,” said Anna Trendl, a researcher at Warwick Business School.

“It is a persistent state of terror that is experienced.” Dr. Trendl explained, adding: “…our results provide a deeper understanding of the environments that could increase the likelihood of that manifesting itself in alcohol-related abuse. These football tournaments are often characterised with high levels of optimism, expectation, and yearning for the glory of England’s victory at the 1966 World Cup.”

According to Dr. Trendl, a victory for England can significantly affect the amount of alcohol consumed by fans during post-game national festivities, increasing the likelihood of domestic violence. The researcher continued, “We found no evidence for alternative explanations, such as increased policing on match days leading to higher detection rates, or awareness programmes before a tournament leading to higher rates of reported domestic abuse.” Researchers discovered that the rise in domestic abuse claims began during the three hours before an England football game and “peaked” in the three hours thereafter.

The number of recorded instances increased, primarily it’s because more men perpetuated violence against women during football tournaents. It is commonly known that incidents of abuse and violence rise when teams lose, but there are also more documented incidents when they win, according to Elaine Yates, chief executive of Coventry Haven Women’s Aid.

She said the competitions intensify the control and dread that many victims already experience from their relationships, aggravating an issue that already exists. She stated that they were particularly concerned this year since victims are being forced to live with their abusers because they cannot afford to leave due to the spiralling cost of living crisis.

Add to this, Elaine Yates said: ” . Add to this that year on year, our organisation also sees that many women choose not to leave over the festive period ‘for the sake of their children’. All of these factors make for a perfect storm.”


It comes after The Independent published a story on fear that domestic abuse 

cases will rise during the World Cup of football since new data revealed a spike in queries about children experiencing violence at home during the previous tournament. 

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) issued the alert after data showed that during the 2018 World Cup, calls to its helpline regarding domestic violence increased by a third higher than the monthly average.