England’s poor result in the Euros on Monday brought in dozens of domestic violence calls to West Yorkshire Police.
Its contact centre received 50 999 calls relating to domestic abuse during England’s third Euro 2016 match, but it was a decrease of 47% on the previous Monday and the first time since the tournament began where there has been a significant drop in calls.
England could only draw with Slovakia which meant they have finished runner-up in their group and now potentially face tougher opposition in the final stages than they would have done.
On average a victim suffers 25 incidents of domestic abuse before they report it to the police.
Police pledge that anyone who suffers any form of domestic abuse can be assured police will attend and will treat their case with the utmost sensitivity.
West Yorkshire Police has today issued a You Tube video of their call handlers talking about their experiences of helping victims of domestic abuse.
Call handler Louise Kelly said: “Alcohol is a factor in a lot of calls we take – people can be out drinking, in the pub or at home and arguments can start between the couple and one thing can lead to another. Incidents can quickly escalate from criminal damage in the home to violent attacks in a matter of minutes.
“I spoke to a lady who called when her husband had gone to work, she sounded very scared and said she had to wait until he had left the house. She said she had been subjected to emotional blackmail and physical abuse for the past six years and not reported anything. As we continued to talk, she sounded relieved to get this off her chest and finally get some help. It has always stuck in my mind, just because she had endured this abuse for six years without telling anyone about it.”
Colleague Carla Cammack said: “I remember taking a call from a lady who sounded petrified – she told me that she had locked herself and her child in a bedroom and her partner, who I could hear in the background was shouting and screaming at the bottom of the stairs that he was going to kill them.
“It was a very difficult situation as she kept repeating, ‘get the police here now’. Officers were sent immediately to their home but I stayed on the phone with her to try and calm her down and reassure her that help was on the way.”
Tom Donohoe, Head of the Customer Contact Centre at West Yorkshire Police, said: “International events such as the Euro’s can have a dramatic effect on the volume of calls into the police, especially on match days. Tempers can fray not only just from the result, depending on the team people are supporting, to a controversial decision during the game.”