Parent organisation of Community Links, Foundation and Bridging the Gap

There Is No Excuse for Abuse – Football World Cup 2022 Campaign

Press Release

November 2022

“There is no excuse for abuse” says charity ahead of 2022 Football World Cup kick-off

  • Inspire North speaks directly to abusers and those who feel they may become violent during the Football World Cup matches
  • Patron and Leeds Rhinos rugby star Jamie Jones Buchanan backs campaign
  • Instances of domestic abuse expected to rise following same pattern as 2018 World Cup
  • Help is out there for people in danger, charity advises


A charity specialising in domestic abuse support has issued a stark message directly to perpetrators of domestic abuse ahead of the start of the 2022 Football World Cup later this month; there is no excuse for abuse – at any time.”

Inspire North, based in Leeds, has issued the message ahead of a predicted increase in reports of domestic abuse during the three-week football tournament, which starts on 20 November.

Sinéad Cregan, Director of Development, innovation and Communications at Inspire North, said: “We are speaking directly to anyone who feels they may become abusive towards someone in their home to say that there is absolutely no excuse for abuse.

Inspire North’s +Choices (Positive Choices) programme works with perpetrators of domestic abuse to challenge their behaviour, reduce the risk to those involved in domestic incidents, and reduce the opportunity for repeat incidents to occur.

Positive Choices is a Respect Accredited service and is a recommended provision of Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Programme (DAPP) support for perpetrators and victims of domestic abuse. To find out more about Positive Choices achieving the Respect Accreditation you can read the full blog here. 

Laura Buchan, service manager for the Respect Accredited +Choices programme, explained that anyone who is abusive or thinks they might become abusive should seek help.

She said: “Anyone who is abusing their partner or thinks they may become abusive towards them – be that during a World Cup football match, or at any time – can refer themselves to a support programme such as Positive Choices.

“These types of programmes are designed specifically to help prevent instances of domestic abuse recurring by supporting perpetrators to utilise techniques such as how to take time out and physically remove themselves from a situation of potential abuse, practise positive self-talk, and take reality checks – all of which can help alleviate abusive situations and help protect the victim.”

Sinéad Cregan, Director of Development, innovation and Communications at Inspire North, said: “Domestic abuse is unacceptable at any time, and sport can often trigger emotional and situational stressors. Research shows that during the 2018 Football World Cup, reports of domestic abuse increased significantly across England and Wales. More than three quarters of reported incidents took place when England were playing, reaching their peak when England was knocked out by Croatia in the 2018 semi-final.

Ms Cregan added: “Unfortunately, we expect to see reports of domestic abuse increase as the Football World Cup matches get underway. Although football itself does not directly cause abuse, all the factors I have described, and others, can exacerbate the behaviour and actions of abusers.”

Inspire North patron and former Leeds Rhinos rugby player, Jamie Jones Buchanan, is also backing the campaign.

He said: “The duration of the Football World Cup can often lead to more arguments between partners about what to watch on the television and matches often take place on weekends when alcohol consumption is often much higher.

“However, abusive behaviour is wholly unacceptable at any time, and we are speaking directly to anyone who thinks they may become violent to say that there is absolutely no excuse for abuse.

“Perpetrators must take responsibility for their own behaviour and actions if we are ever to achieve a society where domestic abuse does not exist.”

Inspire North has issued the following advice to help protect anyone experiencing abuse at home:

  • Try and plan an escape route. Think about where you will go so you can call the police or alert a neighbour and plan a place to meet with your children if you get separated
  • Move to lower-risk parts of your home, where there is an escape route or access to a phone
  • Avoid rooms like the kitchen or garage, which contain objects that could be used to hurt you
  • Teach your children how to call 999 in an emergency
  • If you are unable to get out of the house, barricade or lock yourself into a room, from which you can call the police and contact friends, family or neighbours
  • If you are experiencing abuse or are in immediate danger, call 999, remain silent and press 55 when the operator asks you to. This will let them know you are in immediate danger and help will be despatched to you.

Ms Cregan added: “It is also important that friends and neighbours look out for signs of domestic abuse. If you are worried a friend, neighbour or loved one might be a victim of domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline for free and confidential advice, 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247. If you believe someone is in immediate danger, stay safe yourself and call 999.”

If you are concerned about your behaviour or think you might be an abuser, you can call the Respect Phoneline on 0808 802 4040. It is an anonymous and confidential helpline for men and women who are abusing their partners and families and is open Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm. The helpline also takes calls from partners or ex-partners, friends and relatives who are concerned about perpetrators.

If you are based in North Yorkshire, you can refer yourself to the +Choices programme by visiting


Issued on behalf of Inspire North by Alex Mason, PR consultant. For more information, email or call 07983 726 119.
You can also contact  Hannah Whyte, Communications Manager at Inspire North, via email at