South Gloucestershire and Bristol united against domestic abuse in new campaign

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Bristol City Robins Foundation and Bristol Rovers Community Trust have come together in a new joint campaign to raise awareness of domestic abuse during the 2024 European Football Championship.

The video and poster campaign features players from Bristol City FC and Bristol Rovers W.F.C. alongside representatives from Avon and Somerset Police and local domestic abuse support service, Next Link. The campaign has been funded and supported by South Gloucestershire Council and Bristol City Council.

Football does not cause domestic abuse. On average the police in England and Wales receive over 100 calls relating to domestic abuse every hour. However, during international football competitions reports of domestic abuse increase.

If England play, reports of domestic abuse incidents rise by 26 percent, if they lose, reports of incidents rise by 38 percent. Increased alcohol consumption during football competitions is widely considered to be a main driving factor for this increase.

Dan White, Chief Executive Officer for Bristol City Robins Foundation said: “Football has a powerful platform to raise awareness of key issues in society, and with this collaborative campaign, we hope to increase awareness of the prevalence and signs of domestic abuse. Working alongside the police, local councils, and Bristol Rovers FC is a great example of how we can collectively help play our part.”

Adam Tutton, Chief Executive Officer for Bristol Rovers Community Trust said: “All of us at Bristol Rovers are delighted to be able to support this campaign to help raise awareness around domestic abuse. By partnering with Bristol City FC, we can use the brand, power, and reach of our football clubs to support the message to our fans that domestic abuse is never acceptable.”

Matt Cable, Temporary Detective Inspector, from Avon and Somerset Police said: “Domestic abuse is never acceptable. We want people to be aware of the signs of what this may look like and to look out for those around them and speak up if you have concerns. Please, if you’re a victim of domestic abuse, report it to us or to our partners at Next Link. You will be taken seriously, and it will be dealt with sensitively.”

Amie Copley, Interim Head of Community Safety and Built Environment at South Gloucestershire Council said: “We’re pleased to be delivering this campaign with our partners and the football clubs to help raise awareness of the potential increase in domestic abuse. We are committed to preventing, intervening and reducing domestic violence and abuse across South Gloucestershire.”

Sian Scholes, Senior Service Manager at Next Link said: “If something doesn’t feel right in your relationship, it probably isn’t. We know that talking about your personal life can be hard, but we are here to listen, offer help and advice, and support you and your family with your safety.

“If you are concerned that a friend or family member may be experiencing domestic abuse, you can give them our contact details or call us yourself to get more information. With the right help and support, victims and survivors go on to lead fulfilling, healthy, and fun lives free from violence and abuse.”

If you are concerned for someone you know or need help yourself, you can reach out to South Gloucestershire and Bristol’s domestic abuse support service Next Link at: www.nextlinkhousing.co.uk or call their female team on 0800 4700 280.

You can also contact the National Domestic Abuse Helpline for urgent support 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247 or use the British Sign Language virtual helpline on their website at: www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk/bsl

If you are in immediate danger, or believe someone else may be, always call 999.