Hitchin Town Football Club has teamed up with North Herts District Council to help those experiencing domestic abuse during Euro 2020 and beyond.

It has often been reported that cases of domestic abuse can increase during major football tournaments.

While football is not a cause of domestic abuse, it can affect an abusive partner’s behaviours. With the UEFA Euro 2020 football tournament having kicked off earlier this month, the council and Hitchin Town Football Club is urging anyone who suspects domestic abuse or is experiencing it themselves to seek help.

Common signs of domestic abuse include, but are not limited to:

  • Jealously and possessiveness
  • Control over what you wear, where you go and who you see
  • Control over finances or essential items such a mobile devices or medication
  • Dramatic changes in mood, from kind and charming to abusive and aggressive
  • Pressure to do things you don’t want to do.

Cllr Judi Billing, NHDC’s executive member for community, said: “Football doesn't cause domestic abuse, but big matches can be a catalyst for an uplift in reports and an exacerbation of existing abuse.

"We want to ensure people are aware of the potential signs of domestic abuse and where to go to report it or seek help. We will continue to work closely with the domestic abuse sector and our partners to help tackle this important issue.”

Callum Ellis from Hitchin Town Women’s Football Club said: “We are proud to support NHDC and its partners in raising awareness of domestic abuse.

"Do not suffer in silence, we are all here to put an end to domestic abuse. If you are a victim of domestic abuse or affected by domestic abuse, there are many ways you can receive help and support.”

Getting help for domestic abuse:

Call the Hertfordshire Domestic Abuse Helpline on 08 088 088 088. It is free to call and open between 10am and 8pm Monday to Friday.

This number will not appear on your phone bill. You can also contact them using their confidential email address: Kim@mailpurple.org

Survivors Against Domestic Abuse (SADA) is based in Stevenage and offer a variety of help and support to individuals and families. You can contact them via email on SADA@stevenage.gov.uk or via phone 01438 242666.

For information and advice for males who are experiencing domestic abuse, visit the ManKind or Mens Advice line website.

You should always call 999 in an emergency or 101 in a non-emergency.