Creating Safer Communities for the World Cup

SARAC has collaborated with local businesses and charities to work towards creating safe communities during the FIFA World Cup this year. Working closely with East Staffordshire Family Support Service, Burton Albion Community Trust,  SARAC is a part of this wider team encouraging the promotion of positive and safer communities this winter.

The World Cup was identified by all the organisations as being a potential risk or catalyst for hostile and abusive behaviours within the local communities. This risk is two-fold. Firstly, it is a known fact that there is an increase in domestic abuse when England loses a football match. This puts family homes in a vulnerable position and could result in women, children and partners being at the receiving end of abuse from their partner or family member. Outside of the home, tensions can arise between communities. Living is such a culturally diverse area of the UK, there will be many football fans supporting different teams. Therefore, the safer communities campaign wants to encourage respect from all supporters no matter what the outcome of their teams’ matches.

SARAC, and the partnering organisations, recognised that these issues could arise in the shadow of the celebrations of the World Cup. Therefore, they have come together to create the safer communities’ campaign. Whilst encouraging moderate and responsible behaviour, there are also helplines offered to those who are fearful of the possible reactions of fans to the games.

SARAC has sign-posted their own helpline. This number is for confidential support for people who are at risk of, or have experienced, sexual violence and/or rape at anytime in their lives. The support is specialised and offer to any individual over the age of 11. Equally, East Staffordshire Family Support Service are offering their helpline which helps to reduce isolation and loneliness, focussed on creating solutions and giving members of the community somewhere to turn. Not only does this organisation take these calls to offer supportive and empathetic advice but it can act as a gateway into their Family Support and Thinking Differently core services.

Together, these organisations are committed to ensuring communities can enjoy the World Cup but stay safe at the same time. Whilst there is cause for celebration, it must also be acknowledged that not everyone can enjoy the games, as there is more at play for them than just football. With a stress on protecting all cultures, nationalities, and members of the community, the safer communities’ campaign is leading within the Burton and Staffordshire area in the efforts to tackle World-Cup related violence and abuse.