Football Used To Fight Domestic Violence
7 August 2019, 07:14 | Updated: 7 August 2019, 07:16
There are 8,000 reported cases in Cumbria every year.
Cumbria Police is using football to cut the number of domestic abuse incidents in the county.
The force has teamed up with Carlisle United and the Cumberland Football Association to launch United Against Abuse - a county-wide, football-themed domestic abuse campaign.
With the help of the County's leading football club and the authority which oversees football across the county, Cumbria Constabulary will be campaigning to confront, reduce and raise awareness of domestic abuse in Cumbria.
By working together with partners, including domestic abuse charities the Constabulary aims to reduce domestic abuse offending, encourage greater reporting of abuse and increase the understanding of members of the public - including children - about domestic abuse and the support available.
Detective Inspector James Yallop said: "Using the power of football and sport I want this campaign to send out a strong message from everyone; men, women and children that domestic abuse has to stop. Domestic abuse effects people for the rest of their lives and people shouldn't have to live like that.
"People who abuse their partner or a family member can be of any gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity or age. Their actions can affect the lives of entire families.
"It can be really difficult for people to report domestic abuse to the Police so it is important they know what support is available.
Organisations and charities such as Turning the Spotlight are able to offer support to anyone who may be abusing their partner or displaying unhealthy behaviour within their relationship so I would encourage people to use those services at the earliest opportunity."
As well as the launch event, Detective Inspector Yallop will be attending youth football festivals being held by the Cumberland Football Association around the county later this summer to help educate children and adults about domestic abuse, how to spot it, report it and how to get help and support.
Detective Inspector Yallop said: "Every victim of domestic abuse needs to know our officers are here for them. In addition, there is so much support available to help keep people safe".
"People who are abusive to their partner or family also need to know that there is help and support, but if they choose to ignore that help the Police will take positive action in respect of any incident we attend".
"Finally, we want children in the county who are witnessing domestic abuse in their homes to know that it is not normal - it is not the way to treat someone you are in a relationship with - and there is help available."
Also, as part of the campaign, Cumbria Constabulary will be encouraging teams to play a match and/or a training session whilst wearing a red stripe on their face to raise awareness of domestic abuse. The red stripe initiative was launched in Italy's Serie A at the start of the 2018/19 season.
The Cumberland FA have written to teams in the county asking them to take part. Those teams who play with the red stripe and tweet picture of players doing so with the hashtag #UnitedAgainstAbuse will enter a competition to win a full football kit for their team, complete with a 'United Against Abuse' sponsor.
Cumberland Football Association Chief Executive officer Ben Snowden said: "We are delighted to support Cumbria Constabulary with this campaign. Grassroots football is often a microcosm of wider society and whilst The FA's Respect programme is having an impact on behaviour any report of abuse is one too many. We therefore hope that in raising awareness of both campaigns we will send a message that abuse, of whatever type, will not be accepted inside or outside of football."