Welcome to another week.
Scotland has been developing a pioneering programme to prevent domestic violence spikes during football matches. The initiative started out delivering warnings to known offenders prior to specific matches taking place in order to prevent attacks and has since evolved further so that known perpetrators of domestic violence are removed from their homes just before a game.
A 2011 study found that when an Old Firm match took place on a Saturday, domestic abuse in Scotland rose 138.8%. When a match was on a Sunday, there was a 96.6% increase in domestic abuse and weekday matches saw a 56.8% increase.
This phenomenon has been blamed on increased alcohol consumption, strong emotions, and at-home viewing, which often provides a direct correlation between major sporting events and an increase in violence against women. This also appears to be the case when intense Old Firm rivalry comes into play.
Former Detective Chief Superintendent John Carnochan, co-founder of the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit, feels the strategy is very effective. He says, “It’s saying to the abuser: we know what happened last time, we’re watching you, don’t do it again. But it’s also saying to the wife: we remember, and we’re here.”
US Domestic violence expert Barry Goldstein says, “the basic research says that the only thing that can change abusive men’s behavior is accountability and monitoring.”
Our question this week, is this: do you think Barry is right, and is Scotland’s strategy one that could be included in a broader programme across the United Kingdom to reduce domestic violence?
And to our male readers, we know this is about women, but we have yet to find any similar programmes for male victims of domestic violence.