Council and partners are giving domestic abuse the red card

8 June 2021

People affected by domestic abuse are being reminded that they are not alone during the upcoming European Football Championship.

The rise in incidents of domestic abuse during and after football matches is well documented. In 2014 a study found that reported cases of intimate partner violence increased by 38 per cent when England lost and by 26 per cent when they won or drew in the tournament during the World Cup.

Cheshire West and Chester Council Domestic Abuse Intervention and Prevention Service is joining representatives from other domestic abuse agencies across the county to give domestic abuse the red card.

Live web chats hosted by Cheshire Police will take place throughout June to support anyone experiencing domestic abuse.

Anyone with questions or worries is able to join in by submitting their concerns anonymously about their situation. Family members or friends are also able to find out what they should do if they are concerned about loved ones. Representatives are able to answer queries relevant to where people live.

Questions can be submitted to digital.team@cheshire.pnn.police.uk and will be posted anonymously. The chats will be available to access from www.cheshire.police.uk in the coming days.

Current scheduled dates are:
  • Wednesday, 16 June, 10am – 11am
  • Friday, 18 June, 1pm - 2pm
  • Tuesday, 22 June, 1pm - 2pm
  • Friday, 2 July, 10am - 11am
  • Wednesday, 7 July, 12 - 1pm
  • Monday, 12 July, 11am - 12pm
People feeling vulnerable while visiting pubs across the borough can also use 'Ask for Angela'.

The 'Ask for Angela' campaign is being backed by a number of organisations and venues across the borough, including Chester Pubwatch, to support anybody out in company who feels unsafe.

The initiative encourages people to discreetly ask for help by going to the bar where they 'Ask for Angela' – a phrase that means bar staff will ensure the person gets home safely.

The Open the Door website is there to provide support to residents across Cheshire 24/7. The Open the Door campaign encourages people experiencing abuse, people with abusive behaviours, friends and family to access information about how to spot the signs of domestic abuse and how to get early help. Information is also available for local employers to help them recognise if a colleague is in an abusive situation at home.

Many of the initial signs and symptoms of abuse can be tricky to spot from the outside so people are asked to trust their instincts. Some of the signs to look out for are:
  • Undermining you, so you lose confidence
  • Isolating you from your friends and family
  • Making all the decisions in your life, including what you wear, who you talk to and where you go and when
  • Making you do things that you don't want to do
  • Controlling your money
  • Following you when you go out
  • Needing to know where you are at all times
Councillor Robert Cernik, Cabinet Member for Children and Families said: "We know that the last 18 months has been an extremely difficult time for anyone who has been experiencing domestic abuse. The upcoming European Football Championship will also be a worrying time for many of these people.

"Domestic abuse doesn’t have to stay behind closed doors. Cheshire's Open the Door is there to help people get the help they need and to bring this hidden crime out into the open.

"Please don't suffer in silence, support is available."

If you, or someone you know is in a relationship that doesn't quite feel right, speak to someone about it. You can get help and advice and access self-support services at: openthedoorcheshire.org.uk or call 0300 123 7047, option 2. Always ring 999 in an emergency.

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