Domestic abuse linked to soccer match days: Scottish study
By Emma Batha
LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Reports of domestic violence increase significantly on days of certain soccer matches, according to a Scottish study published on Friday.
In some cases, reports of domestic abuse doubled on match days. The research suggests particularly important games or those against a traditional rival are associated with higher recorded rates of domestic violence.
The study, commissioned by the Scottish government, comes as it considers making domestic abuse a specific criminal offense.
Experts from the Scottish Center for Crime and Justice Research reviewed studies from the last 25 years in Scotland, the United Kingdom and United States.
"All the research we looked at suggested there was an increase in domestic abuse reports around soccer matches ... But what we don't know so well is why that link might be there," said the report's coordinator Oona Brooks.
The University of Glasgow criminologist said it would be too simplistic to suggest that soccer caused domestic violence.
"Domestic abuse is a pattern of controlling behavior rather than a discrete incident; linking its occurrence to a particular soccer match or sporting event may simply reinforce the idea that it is an infrequent act, triggered only at these times."
Some studies showed reports increased when a team won, perhaps because of greater aggression and alcohol consumption. But other research indicated the opposite. Several studies suggested the real difference was if the outcome was unexpected. Continued...