Kevan Maitland IOMFA Victim Support

IOMFA and Victim Support stand together against domestic violence

The Isle of Man Football Association has partnered with local charity Victim Support Isle of Man to stand together against domestic abuse surrounding the FIFA World Cup 2022.

Lancaster University found reports of domestic abuse increase surrounding high profile football matches, such as the World Cup. Looking at the number of reports of domestic abuse to the police force in the north west of England during three World Cups, such reports increased by 26% when a national team won or drew and by 38% when the team lost. 

The IOMFA and Victim Support want to help raise awareness of the issue of domestic abuse, that it’s not tolerated, and to make people aware that there is help and support available. They will be sharing statistics during the tournament across their social media accounts and will also be holding a charity football match between the senior men’s Island Representative team and FC Isle of Man at 7pm on Wednesday 21st December at The Bowl, to fundraise for the charity.

The number of domestic abuse referrals to Victim Support IOM significantly increased by 78% between January and September 2022 in comparison to the same period in 2021. Domestic abuse can be range from many different forms, from physical abuse to economic abuse, and coercive controlling behaviour. 

Amber Oakley, Marketing Officer at Victim Support IOM said: ‘Domestic abuse will affect 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men in their lifetime, so it’s an important issue that needs highlighting and people need to know that support is available. We know that football doesn’t cause domestic abuse, abusers do. We do know, however, that football matches and a related increase in alcohol consumption can make existing domestic abuse worse. There is a large football community on the Island and football can be used to raise awareness and voice topics, so we’d like to send out a positive message alongside the IOMFA that domestic abuse can never be tolerated and that support is available.’

IOMFA President, Tony Mepham, added: ‘Victim Support approached the FA and gave a presentation to our board members, who were immediately keen to use the platforms we have available to raise awareness of domestic abuse and the proven rise in cases linked to large footballing events. We also want to shine a light on the services offered by Victim Support to those affected by such abuse, as well as other forms of crime.

‘We’ll continue to do this throughout the World Cup, during which time we’ll also be promoting the charity match we’ve organised between the IOMFA Representative Team and FC IOM, which is an IOMFA affiliated club, currently playing in North-West Counties Premier Division. It’ll be a great match!’

Photo: IOMFA Chief Operating Officer, Kevan Maitland, with Victim Support Marketing Officer, Amber Oakley.