Powerful campaign highlights alarming rise in domestic violence during the World Cup

Danielle Fowler
Freelance Writer
‘The Not-So-Beautiful Game’ is a powerful poster created by JWT London for the National Centre for Domestic Violence to highlight the link between the World Cup and the rise in domestic abuse. [Photo: JWT London]

A powerful campaign has launched in a bid to raise awareness of the alarming rise in domestic violence during the World Cup.

During this year’s football tournament, a number of studies have come to light which highlight the correlation between domestic abuse and football.

According to research conducted by academics at Lancaster University back in 2013, reports of violence increased by 26 percent when England played and 38 percent when they lost.

To raise further awareness ahead of tonight’s semi-final game against Croatia, the National Centre for Domestic Violence has launched a hard-hitting campaign in collaboration with communications agency, J Walter Thompson London (JWT).

The powerful poster depicts a woman with blood trickling from her nose as it forms a St George’s flag across her face. In the right-hand corner of the image, the campaign’s title is clear: “If England get beaten, so will she.”

The hard-hitting campaign is designed to raise awareness of the disturbing correlation between football and domestic abuse [Photo: JWT]

To help raise awareness that men can be affected be victims of abuse too, the campaign also features images of a man with bruises resembling the colours of the French and Belgium flag.

Creative director of JWT, Jo Wallace, told Yahoo Style UK: “As fans across the world watch each game with trepidation so too do the partners of some of those fans.”

“This lesser known, darker aspect of football is clearly communicated with this impactful campaign, ‘The Not-So-Beautiful Game’,” Wallace added. “The team saw these stats and immediately created this excellent work to help reach and support victims of Domestic Violence during the World Cup when they are in particular danger.”

Following England’s recent victory against Sweden on Saturday 7 July, the country was inundated with 999 calls – significantly more than on New Year’s Eve.

According to a recent study, domestic violence cases increase by 26% when England play and 38% when the team loses [Photo: JWT]

According to the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), 387 football-related incidents were recorded, most of which were alcohol-related.

Since the 2018 World Cup kick-started, 1,086 football-related incidents have been recorded including 226 cases of domestic abuse.

If you are worried about your relationship or that of a friend or family member, you can contact the Freephone 24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline – run in partnership between Women’s Aid and Refuge – on 0808 2000 247 or visit the website

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