If England gets beaten, so will she
An article by Penny Appeal’s Founder and Chairman Adeem Younis
After a rollercoaster World Cup campaign, it was truly heart-breaking to see England leave the competition, ending the best chance we’ve had for a generation. As the Semi-Final drew to a painful close for fans across the country and beyond, my mind was drawn to this painful image that was part of a wider campaign to raise awareness about the rise in domestic violence during the World Cup season.
Entitled ‘The Not So Beautiful Game’, the campaign by the National Centre for Domestic Violence highlights research from Lancaster University that found domestic violence increased 26% when England played and 38% when they lost. In another study, violent attacks were found to have increased a staggering 79.3% when England played.
As the Founder and Chairman of Penny Appeal, a charity dedicated to helping those most in need, we made a commitment to tackle Domestic Violence and in recent years have launched a number of projects across the country offering a range of services to survivors.
Almost 2 million cases of domestic abuse were reported to police last year and of course, that is just the tip of the ice-berg with so much more remaining unreported. Research also shows that victims of abuse that hail from minority backgrounds are less likely to access help or report abuse, leaving a gap in provision for these vulnerable individuals.
Sadly, the culture in many of our communities tends to lean on brushing things under the carpet hoping that they’ll go away. Unfortunately, that’s not how things work. As individuals, as communities and as organisations we have to have the courage to tackle abuse in all of its ugly forms and offer long-term support to those who have experienced it.
It is thus with great honour and great concern that we have launched this week the Penny Appeal Domestic Abuse Helpline. Offering a confidential and non-judgmental listening service, our trained practitioners are available on email, web-chat and via our helpline to offer impartial, professional and culturally-sensitive support.
Seeking help is not a sign of weakness, rather a strength and our helpline staff are trained to guide the caller through their emotions, signposting them to where they can get further help and empowering them to take the steps necessary to end the vicious cycle of abuse. Our helpline serves both male and female survivors of domestic abuse, aged 18 and over nationwide and operates 7-days a week from 10am to 10pm via 0808 802 3333
Callers can be reassured that there will be no cost to them whatsoever and the number won’t show up on any bills, offering a further layer of confidentiality and security.
The helpline provision will work in conjunction with the telephone and in-person counselling services we offer in both London and Yorkshire as well as our outreach services in Birmingham.
Further distinguishing Penny Appeal’s service is our provision of qualified Islamic counsellors, offering tailored guidance rooted in our faith. There simply isn’t anywhere else where this guidance and advice has been made so accessible to anyone and everyone, just one confidential-call away.
Football is sadly not coming home this year, but if not kept in check, there won’t be a home for it to come back to. One of the words for ‘home’ in the Arabic language is ‘maskan’ – The word shares the same origin as a word found in the Qur’an - ‘sakina’ which refers to tranquillity or stillness. The idea being that one’s home should be a place of peacefulness. A home that tolerates abuse is not a place of tranquillity and our faith teaches us to stand up for and support victims and survivors of any form of abuse or oppression, regardless of who they are and regardless of who may be committing the abuse.
There is no shame in seeking help. The only shame is that it has taken us so long for adequately provide for our fellow sisters and brothers. We hope the Penny Appeal Domestic Abuse Helpline can help fill the gap where we as a community have failed in the past. We still have a long way to go and we still need your help. For now, please make others aware of the service and if you’d like to find out how you can help further, please do get in touch.
THURSDAY 12 JUL 2018