‘Home game’: domestic abuse and football
Published: February 2018
Increased reports of domestic violence and abuse (DVA) following football matches have been documented, within both quantitative studies and the media, leading to questions about the policy and practice responses required. However, qualitative research facilitating understanding of the apparent link between football and DVA is lacking. Drawing upon research with key stakeholders across England and Scotland, this paper provides a rare insight into their understanding of the contested and complex relationship between football and DVA, including the role of contributory and confounding factors such as alcohol, match expectations, masculinity, entitlement and permissions. It is argued that while football may provide a potential platform for challenging DVA, focusing on football (or other specific factors or events) as causative risks re-incidentalising DVA and detaching it from feminist frameworks that have established DVA as a sustained behaviour grounded in gendered inequalities. This paper concludes by considering the broader conceptual implications of these findings for future research, policy and practice.