CHILDLINE: World Cup can cause emotional stress with alcohol and betting also acting as potential triggers to incidents in the home
For the next few weeks, millions of people across the country will be glued to their screens to find out how the England football team get on in the World Cup.
While many of our Childline counsellors will also be cheering on the team, we’re also expecting to hear from many children and young people throughout the tournament, hundreds of whom will be experiencing domestic abuse.
During the last World Cup in 2018, contacts to the Childline service rose by 17% on the monthly average. In that same period, the number of child welfare contacts delivered about domestic abuse by our colleagues in the NSPCC Helpline – which offers support to adults concerned about children – rose by a third.
A major sporting tournament like the World Cup can cause heightened emotional stress, with alcohol and betting on the games also acting as potential triggers to incidents in the home over the next four weeks.
Thankfully, the majority of fans across the region will enjoy the World Cup with friends and family without incident.
But domestic abuse can have a huge impact on a child’s confidence and sense of security. Without support, it can have a devastating impact at the time and long into the future, and the sad truth is that for many children living with domestic abuse, the tournament will bring nervousness, fear and even violence.
Our counsellors are here to offer support to any child who is worried about domestic abuse at home, and there are further resources on the Childline website where children can speak to other young people in moderated message boards about what’s worrying them.
But we would also encourage any adults reading this in the North East or around the country to be mindful of what you see or hear throughout the World Cup, and speak out about it.
If you have a concern about the wellbeing of a child at any point, to contact the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 8005000, or email [email protected] at any time for guidance and support.
It might be nothing, but it might be the most important call you make this month.