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Today, Australia Will See A Surge In Domestic Violence For One Reason

On State of Origin day, something sinister is at play for Australian women

Tonight, New South Wales and Queensland locals will don their colours and settle in for an epic footy clash. But, a 2018 report has revealed the popular sporting event brings out something more sinister than mateship.

State of Origin nights sees a 40 per cent increase on average in domestic assault and about a 70 per cent increase in non-domestic assaults, research shows. The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education, which commissioned the study last year, is calling on rugby league administrators to do more to reverse the trend.

The data was drawn from six years from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR). Last year, the number of family violence assaults reported on May 31 – the day of the year’s first State of Origin game – was 47, falling to 23 by the following week.

State of Origin
(Credit: Getty Images)

The study, compiled by the Centre for Alcohol Policy Research at La Trobe University, found no similar spike in Victoria, where State of Origin is not a major event.

These findings are not in isolation.

A report by Lancaster University revealed that during the 2014 World Cup, the county of Lancashire saw an average of 79.3 reported domestic assaults on days when England played, compared to 58.2 per cent when they didn’t.

Now many are calling to give domestic abuse the red card. Katie Ghose, chief executive of Women’s Aid told The Independent that while football in and of itself does not provoke family violence, “the sexist attitudes, chants and behaviour of football matches encourage an environment in which women are belittled and demeaned”.

If you are impacted by assault, domestic or family violence call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) or visit If you need help immediately, please call 000.  

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