New football season brings increased fears of domestic violence, warn family lawyers

Expert family lawyers are warning that victims of domestic violence could face increased danger as the new football season is due to start soon.

The 2021/22 Premier League season begins on Saturday 14 August and according to statistics released by domestic abuse charities, violence in the home can be triggered by major football matches, particularly if the abuser’s team loses.

Domestic violence relating to football was thrown into the spotlight during the Euro 2020 tournament when it was estimated that abuse increased by 38% when England lost to Italy.

Chris Longbottom and his team of family lawyers at national firm Clarke Willmott LLP said as well as accessing help through the police and charities, victims can also put in place legal support to stay safe.

Chris said: “Of course football isn’t to blame for domestic violence but it is true that incidents do rise around major football events and the accompanying excess alcohol intake that often goes along with it. In fact, it is thought that violence in the home begins to rise four hours after a match has started and reaches its peak 10-12 hours after kick-off.

“In an emergency 999 is the first port of call and there are lots of amazing charities providing refuge and support but if victims are looking ahead and think they may be in more danger around the football season, lawyers may be able to help.

“Furthermore, a lot of people don’t realise that solicitors can act fast to help domestic abuse victims. As professional legal advisers we can help deal with emergency applications quickly. We can apply for non-molestation orders which are injunctions designed to protect the victim and any children from harm; we can also apply for occupation orders to get the abuser out of the family home.

“It is worth noting that if your abuser pays the bills and rent/mortgage, the Court may also be able to order that they can carry on paying. We offer telephone and video calls so that we can act quickly to get you the protection you need.

“I would encourage anyone currently in fear of domestic abuse to reach out.”

Chris Longbottom is a partner within the family and divorce team at Clarke Willmott, a national law firm with offices in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, London, Manchester, Southampton and Taunton.

For more information about Clarke Willmott visit www.clarkewillmott.com

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