A PLEA has been made to victims of domestic violence to speak out about the abuse as the World Cup approaches.
The advice comes as Greater Manchester Police (GMP) sees domestic violence reports spike during football tournaments.
When England were knocked out of the World Cup in June 2010 the force dealt with 353 incidents of domestic violence.
During the World Cup in Germany in 2006 GMP saw a 20 per cent rise in domestic incidents.
Bolton at Home has now joined forces with the police and Bolton’s Domestic Abuse and Violence Partnership to offer support to victims who fear they might be at risk.
Sharon Naughton, principal neighbourhood safety manager at Bolton at Home, said: “There is a proven connection between major football tournaments and spikes in incidents of domestic violence.
“The intense feelings associated with watching football matches, fuelled by alcohol consumption, can lead to arguments between partners over trivial issues which would normally pass without incident.
“Domestic abuse or violence will not be tolerated in Bolton. Our message to those at risk is that we will listen to you and you will be believed. We can take legal action to create a safe distance for you from the perpetrator and create a safe and secure home for you to continue to live in.”
Mrs Naughton said help was out there for victims and they would be treated in confidence.
She said people should not be concerned about raising alarm about domestic violence as perpetrators of the crime will be in breach of their tenancy agreements with Bolton at Home and face having their home taken from them and their tenancy agreement ended.
She said: “We encourage victims to take preventative measures where possible. Domestic violence is a corrosive crime we absolutely tackle it head on. It is everybody’s given right to feel safe.”
Bolton at Home deals with about 40 or more high risk domestic violence cases each month with police and other agencies.
Offenders who lose their homes are likely to struggle to find homes with other social housing groups.
Bolton at Home offers victims a case worker, to take details of the abuse suffered and pursue legal action on their behalf with consent, secure the home by offering to install home link alarms, signpost victims to support groups, and offer immediate temporary relocation or permanent rehousing if necessary.
Lawyers for Bolton at Home can secure prohibition orders, banning the offender from going near the victim’s address, or face arrest.
Research suggests one in four women and one in six men will experience domestic abuse during their lives.
People at risk of domestic violence can get support through the following outlets:
• Police on 101 in a non-emergency or 999 in an emergency
• Bolton at Home’s neighbourhood safety team on 01204 328143
• Homeless welfare on 01204 335826
• Fortalice support centre on 01204 365677
• National Domestic Abuse helpline on 0808 2000247
• Broken Rainbow, a service for the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender community, on 0300 9995428
• Men’s advice line on 0808 8010327