As the World Cup begins the lovely staff of Sojourn thought a re-post from the feminist blog, The Curvature, could kick off a discussion of the relationship or non-relationship between domestic violence and sporting events.
Many media outlets and popular assumptions state that drunken and upset men (perhaps returning from a lost soccer match) are more likely to batter their spouses and partners.
For this reason, the England police department crafted new PSA's, warning telling men and women about the consequences of domestic violence with a World Cup theme.
While I applaud the English police department for attempting to curb the rates of domestic violence during this time, I find it aggravating that domestic violence is understood in such basic terms in these adds. According to the English police, domestic violence is just that -- physical violence -- against women. Of course physical violence is a terrible outcome of an abusive relationship, and the most visible, but domestic violence is also defined by many other behaviors: emotional manipulation, use children, money, pets, and denigration to control their female partners -- this is abuse, not just one crazy night of drunkenness.
Batterers have learned abuse. Simply warning them that if they beat their partners after watching the World Cup they may go to jail does not undo the dangerous and abusive tendencies of the batterer.
The Curvature explores more in depth,