There is a plethora of statistics surrounding the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Unfortunately, one of the most worrying - and upsetting - is that during the four weeks of the tournament, agencies in this country are braced for a 27 per cent ‘spike’ in the number of reported incidents of domestic abuse.
Last Thursday, Lincolnshire Police and domestic abuse services from East Lindsey District Council and Lincolnshire County Council chose Horncastle to launch a campaign which coincided with the start of Brazil 2014.
The positive message to victims - male and female - is that you don’t have to suffer in silence. Help is out there.
Sarah Norburn, Lincolnshire Police’s Domestic Abuse Co-ordinator, said: “We’ve launched the campaign under Operation Nova which stands for ‘Say No To Violence And Abuse.’
“It is targeting perpetrators of domestic violence and signposts victims to the help that is available, such as East Lindsey’s Domestic Abuse Service.”
Sarah admits the various services expect to be busy over the coming days, particularly after England games.
She added: “When England play then nationally, we get a 27 per cent ‘spike’ in domestic abuse. Research has been done across all police forces in England and Wales and that’s unfortunately what we see.
“In terms of East Lindsey, during the last financial year there were over 2,000 incidents reported to Lincolnshire Police.
“That works out at just over five-a-day.
“There is quite a lot going on in the local area but there is an increase across all districts in Lincolnshire, not just East Lindsey. It is worrying.”
The police are full of praise for the help they receive from other agencies.
Sarah explained: “In terms of support services like East Lindsey, that’s absolutely critical for victims and for their families. Yes, we expect an increase in the World Cup but this (domestic abuse) happens every single day.
“For example, during the Olympics in London, services were put on special alert.
“We’re raising awareness to the public. We’ve been handing leaflets out. School kids have been given some specific teenage abuse material.
“The important message to get across is you don’t have to suffer in silence. You can report incidents to the police although obviously, not everyone would want to.
“There is help. The main thing is to offer victims choice. We are not going to force you into anything you don’t want to do.
“We will supply the information, support and advice for you to make the right choices.”
Sarah was backed by Emily Syred from ELDC’s Domestic Abuse Service.
She said: “We’ve seen a significant increase during the last couple of weeks and we expect to see even more referrals being made during the World Cup.
“It’s not only women but men as well who have been subject to domestic violence. Anyone can contact our services. It’s available for men, women and children. It is an increasing problem, It’s a widespread problem - not just East Lindsey. But, we are tackling it and we are there for people.”
Nicki Skayamn, the domestic abusive coordinator for RingRose Law, was also on hand to offer advice.
She admitted recent cuts in legal aid - imposed by the Government - could potentially put victims off from taking court action.
However, she stressed Legal Aid was still available and in some instances, victims of abuse can obtain protective court orders within 24 hours.
She said: “We have seen an increase in cases and victims need to know that domestic abuse will not be tolerated in any format, whether it be physical, emotional or financial.”
*Victims of domestic abuse can contact Lincolnshire Police on 999 for emergencies and 101 for non-emergencies.
Alternatively, the East Lindsey Domestic Abuse Service is available on 01507 609830.
Other numbers include the Lincolnshire Integrated Domestic Abusive Service (01522 510041) and the National Domestic Violence Helpline (0808 2000247).
RingRose Law operate a 24-hour helpline on 07872 456369.