A CAMPAIGN to tackle an expected surge in domestic violence during this summer’s football World Cup is being backed by St Helens Council.

Statistics show that violence in the home increase across the country during a World Cup due to increased drinking and high emotions, particularly in the event of an England defeat.

According to Women’s Aid, domestic violence can increase by 25 per cent with a further 10 per cent increase the day after.

During the last tournament in 2010, St Helens saw an increase in domestic violence incidents.

In June 2010 there were 338 reported cases of domestic violence and 317 in July, in comparison to 286 and 285 in August and September of that year respectively.

A social media campaign will be launched to encourage residents to add a white ribbon to their profile pictures to raise awareness.

The White Ribbon flag will fly above St Helens Town Hall for England’s opener on Saturday, June 14 and for the days of the third-place playoff on Saturday, July 12 and the final on Sunday, July 13.

Cabinet Member for community safety, Councillor Richard McCauley said: “The World Cup is a fabulous occasion – and everyone should have the right to enjoy it peacefully.

"There is absolutely no excuse to let the emotions we all experience turn into violence.”

The national campaign will include posters aimed at perpetrators and victims. Radio adverts, voiced by The Bill actor Christopher Ellison, will include a football-style commentary about a violent attack.

It is estimated one in four women and one in six men will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime which can include threats, harassment, physical attacks, financial control and emotional abuse.

People who are violent or abusive to loved can contact RESPECT on 0808 802 4040 for help.

Victims contact the Independent Domestic Violence Advocate on 01744 743200. There is also 24 hour support available on 01925 220541.

Visit www.sthelens.gov.uk/whiteribbon to pledge support against domestic violence.