YouGov poll shows concerning domestic violence taboo as Euro 2012 kicks off. Major football tournaments cause a spike in abuse crimes*
National conference outlines desperate need for wholesale re-programming of the way in which men think about women
Techniques used by NFL American football stars to teach men greater respect for women will be brought to the UK
FEWER than three in five people (58%) polled say they would be likely to intervene if they suspected their male friend or neighbour was beating his wife, according to a new YouGov poll.
The survey shows that domestic abuse is still a taboo subject in UK society and reveals a disturbing difference in attitudes among men and women towards the issue.
The poll of 2,111 respondents, published today by Stonham - the UK’s second largest provider of domestic violence support services – showed that almost 1 in 4 (24%) men think it is acceptable to joke about giving a woman “a good slap”. Just over 1 in 5 men (23%) would be likely to speak up if they heard another man make a light-hearted comment about abusing their partner.
The figures are particularly pertinent as they are released on the day of the UEFA Euro Championship 2012 kick-off. Major football tournaments are shown to be the greatest cause of spikes in domestic abuse.
Stonham commissioned the YouGov poll to highlight issues around attitudes to domestic abuse, and to spotlight how the male view of women needs to be re-programmed to cut the number of violent crimes committed towards female spouses and partners.
Stonham is hosting the UK’s first national conference – The Survivors’ Solution: A Call to Men – today that will focus on providing a solution to the issue and will treat the cause of domestic violence as well as helping victims.
One of the conference’s keynote speakers will be Tony Porter, co-founder of the A Call to Men charity in America, which runs programmes that teach men of all ages to respect women. The courses include training scenarios that encourage fathers not to use phrases such as “don’t be a girl” when a boy cries and husbands not to joke about hitting their wives.
Rachael Byrne, Stonham Executive Director, said: “Domestic violence destroys lives and devastates families and we see a significant spike in these crimes around the times of major football tournaments such as the Euros. The data polled for Stonham today shows the worrying truth though that a significant amount of people would turn a blind eye if one of their neighbours left the house with dark glasses covering a bruised eye or worse over the next month.
“Regrettably, we have become desensitised to language that undermines women in men’s eyes. There is no such thing as ‘a good slap’, and we have to seriously question why it seems okay to denigrate girls by making them the emotional stick to beat young boys with. The conference today will explore how we train more men to challenge these societal norms, giving them the skills to pass onto other men who are willing to speak up and help pass on more positive attitudes.”
The Survivors’ Solution: A Call to Men conference will take place at the NEC, Birmingham, from 9am – 5pm on Friday, June 8.
Speakers on the day include:
Tony Porter, co-founder of A Call to Men, will be detailing the programme he runs with the USA’s National Football League (American Football) which has brought some of the highest paid sports stars in the world onto the stage to teach teenagers how to respect women
Rachael Byrne, Stonham Executive Director. Rachael will outline the ground-breaking schemes Stonham is running that support male domestic abuse offenders to break the cycle of violence towards women
Karyn McCluskey, Co-Director, Violence Reduction Unit, Scottish Police. Karyn will illustrate efforts to tackle domestic violence in Scotland in a speech which includes hard-hitting CCTV footage that graphically shows the problem
PLEASE NOTE: One of the perpetrators of domestic abuse that is currently on a Stonham offender rehabilitation course is available for interview in advance of the conference
* Examples of how football and domestic violence are linked include:
- On the day that England were knocked out of World Cup 2010 by Germany, there were double the amount of domestic abuse incidents in one day than they normally get in a year in North Yorkshire (link)
- The Old Firm derbies between Celtic & Rangers have a significant impact on domestic abuse reports. In February last year there were two matches – the first was a 2-2 draw and domestic abuse cases rose 33%. In the 2nd, a 0-3 win to Celtic, figures shot up 75% (link)
For further information contact Mike Parker on 0191 290 6115 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
About the YouGov poll
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2111 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 1st - 6th June 2012. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).
Here are the questions & answers:
Thinking about if you suspected that a male friend or neighbour might be hitting their wife/ partner…
How likely or unlikely do you think you would be to intervene in any way (for example, by calling the police, social services, going round to their house etc.)?
|Neither likely nor unlikely||15%||16%||15%|
|Don’t know/ prefer not to say||15%||11%||18%|
Sometimes men might make comments about violence towards a wife or partner that are intended to be a joke or light-hearted, for example joking with their friends that they'd like to give their female partner ‘a good slap’…
In general, how acceptable or unacceptable do you think a comment like this ever is?
|Neither acceptable nor unacceptable||22%||24%||20%|
|Don’t know/ prefer not to say||4%||4%||4%|
And thinking about if you heard someone making a comment about violence towards a wife or partner that was intended to be a joke or light-hearted, for example joking with their friends that they'd like to give their female partner ‘a good slap’…
|Neither likely nor unlikely||24%||28%||20%|
|Don’t know/ prefer not to say||7%||7%||8%|
Have you ever experienced a situation where a man or group of men have joked about physical or emotional harm towards women?
|Yes, I have||31%||32%||29%|
|No, I haven’t||51%||51%||51%|
|Can’t recall/prefer not to say||19%||18%||20%|
Base: All UK Adults who have experienced a situation where a man or group of men have joked about physical or emotional harm towards women
You said that you had experienced a situation where a man or group of men have joked about physical or emotional harm towards women…
Have you ever challenged the man or group of men making this type of joke (for example, saying it was an unacceptable thing to say)?
|Yes, I have||41%||30%||51%|
|No, I haven’t||52%||62%||43%|
|Can’t recall/prefer not to say||7%||8%||5%|
About Home Group:
Home Group is one of the UK’s largest providers of high quality housing and supported housing services and products.
Home Group is a social enterprise and a charity (a registered Industrial & Provident Society) with a turnover of £304m,
Our mission is “to help our customers and clients to open doors to new opportunities and healthy lives.”
We provide general needs housing and supported housing services targeted towards helping some of society’s most vulnerable people take control of their own lives. We:
house more than 120,000 people a year in 55,000 homes across 200 local authority areas in England, Scotland and Wales.
work with almost 30,000 vulnerable people through 500+ supported housing, justice and health services each year.
Care and Support services focus on housing related support, criminal justice and health services.