Domestic violence centre opens near Olympic Park

August 9, 2012

Source: Women’s Resource Centre newsletter

The centre near the Olympic Park in Stratford, east London, was opened to tackle an anticipated rise in domestic and sexual abuse linked to the 2012 Games.

The threat came from more people having to spend time at home, large crowds and possibly athlete-on-athlete assaults, said Professor Allan Brimicombe, chair of the Crime and Justice Statistics Network and expert on domestic violence. “Where you get large crowds you inevitably seem to get sexual assaults of different kinds”, he told the BBC.

Past research has indicated that cases of domestic violence increase with large sporting events. For example, figures obtained from police forces across England showed an increase in domestic violence reports to police during the 2010 Football World Cup.

“We definitely predict a rise in domestic violence”, said Sudarshan Bhuhi, CEO of Aanchal Women’s Aid. She added that there had already been more calls to their helpline from women who are “worried about being cooped up in the home”.

The centre is being run by Newham Council, with the police and domestic abuse charities including Rape Crisis and Newham Action Against Domestic Violence. It offers legal help and advocacy and is open for anyone experiencing physical attacks, emotional abuse, harassment, stalking, threats, financial control, sexual abuse, forced marriage and honour-based violence.

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