Not everyone is looking forward to the Melbourne Cup. Domestic violence and emergency services are ready to increasing potential in calls, calls and receptions.
But like our recent one review showsThe Melbourne Cup is not the only major sporting event in the world linked to a rise in domestic violence.
Not everyone agrees on why this happens. We show that alcohol is only one factor.
What is happening?
Assaults Recorded by the Police and Emergency Department Assault Presentations increase during or near Victoria’s major sporting events – the AFL Grand Final, Melbourne Cup and Formula 1.
In particular, domestic violence to grow significantly on Melbourne Cup day.
In New South Wales, police figures over six years show a rise in domestic assaults by more than 40 percent after home state rugby league matches compared to non-home state evenings.
Domestic violence is also featured in our review is increasing on and around major sporting events around the world. This includes major National Football League games in the United States and Canada and football matches in Scotland.
Why does this happen?
Not everyone agrees on why domestic violence is linked to major sporting events. We know that criminals are becoming more violent or more violent on holidays in Australia. Both the AFL Grand Final and the Melbourne Cup in Victoria are marked by a public holiday during or adjacent to the event.
Alcohol, of course, and risk factor for increasing the frequency and severity of domestic violence. Drinking alcohol during major sporting events and on holidays is well documented.
Exactly the same gambling and stress due to loss of income also associated with increasing use and escalation of domestic violence. They can also take place during events such as the Melbourne Cup.
But focusing only on alcohol and gambling creates the risk of such violence make excuses. This focus can make it clear that men cannot be fully responsible for their behavior.
Culture of sports
Sports culture can also be favorable factor to domestic violence. Sports, violence and what it means to be a man have long been recognized connected. For example, coaches promote aggression to perform.
There are also emotional connection to sports. Sports fans exhibit “irrational passions,” maintain “blind optimism,” have “highly charged” memories, and a passion that mimics “addiction“.
however, our review also showed that not all sports or their activities are associated with domestic violence. Everyone is within a culture that varies from sport to sport and country to country.
Some of the studies we reviewed showed that contact sports such as American football, have been linked to an increase in domestic violence. Meanwhile, other contact sports, such as rugby in the UK, were not.
Football is a non-contact sport, but it has been linked increased rates domestic violence in the UK. There was a traditional rivalry between opposing football teams significant impact about the level of domestic violence.
Perhaps emotionally charged games may best indicate whether domestic violence is likely to rise. Examples include finals or when a team is close to winning or losing the league. Unpleasant or controversial results, such as poor play or refereeing decisions, can also predict an increase in domestic violence.
An unexpected loss, for example, is associated with increase in domestic violence bets, especially if this game is also considered important, such as during the finals or a potential exit from the World Cup.
however, UK study found that alcohol-related domestic violence only increased significantly when England won, not when they lost or drew. So losing is not necessarily the key factor.
Motives for drinking can arise here when different fans drink (more) celebrate or cope.
When taken together, we can conclude it’s the culture of a particular sport in a particular country, exaggerated by fierce rivalries, how emotionally charged the game can be and when the game is played, which can predict an increase in domestic violence. This is in addition to the increase in gambling or alcohol consumption associated with these events.
What can we do about it?
Sports-related domestic violence policies need to be tailored to where the event takes place and how the culture of a country or even a state affects the behavior of sports fans.
We should think about:
when major sporting events are scheduled (ideally not on holidays)
restricting the availability of alcohol and increasing prices, especially during mass events
joint planning between police, health and specialist domestic violence services in the run-up to major sporting events
developing social media marketing campaigns for fans to coincide with sporting events such as the AFL Grand Final #liftyourgame. Such companies should be free from sponsorship of alcohol and gambling.
Initiatives need to be developed with the support of politicians, state and national sports organisations, as well as specialist domestic violence and emergency services.
They must be effectively adapted to the sport, its fans and the cultural context at which it is aimed. They need to happen now and be graded.
Kirsty Forsdyke is a Senior Lecturer at La Trobe Business School and Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Sport and Social Impact at La Trobe University. Anne-Marie Laslett is a Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Alcohol Policy Research at La Trobe University. Lisa Hooker is Director of Research at the Judith Lumley Rural Center at La Trobe University’s La Trobe School of Rural Health. William Douglas, Head of Policy and Projects at No violence, co-authored this article and is a partner in the research mentioned therein. This piece first appeared on Conversation.