Euro 2024 Guide launched to highlight prevalence of violence against women at football fixtures

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Three out of five women experience sexist abuse in person when at a football game or in a pub, whilst cases of sexist chants have quadrupled in the last year, according to recent stats.

On Friday the Euros begins, with Hastings’ fan zone located at Hastings Pier.

As a result of the upcoming tournament White Ribbon UK, a leading violence against women and girls prevention charity, and safeguarding brand imabi, have launched a Euro fixtures guide highlighting the prevalence of violence against women and girls in football.

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Interspersed with important facts about sexist abuse in the sport and supported by advice on how to help, the guide is designed to get the attention of those who wouldn’t normally pay attention, while also offering ways that fans can make ‘the beautiful game’ enjoyable for all.

New Euros Guide launched to raise awareness around VAWG.New Euros Guide launched to raise awareness around VAWG.
New Euros Guide launched to raise awareness around VAWG.

Anthea Sully, CEO of White Ribbon UK, said: “Everyone has the right to enjoy watching sports, including football matches, without the fear of violence, abusive language, or harassment. The upcoming men's Euros tournament is a great opportunity for us to celebrate the good that can come from football and for men to show their allyship to women by making match screenings fun events for everyone.

"More and more men are challenging the use of harmful attitudes and behaviours towards women, both online and offline. This Euros, by showing your allyship, we can all end violence against women and girls."

According to Her Game Too, nearly 60 percent have faced sexist abuse in person at football matches or pubs. Whilst, Kick It Out reports of sexist mass chanting quadrupled at the end of 2023.

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In imabi's own recent research, more than half (54 percent) of 2,000 respondents* also said they had witnessed inappropriate behaviour from others – with the most intimidating being unwanted physical contact (according to 65 percent of respondents).

Mark Balaam, CEO of imabi, a safeguarding platform that provides the technology behind safeguarding apps, such as the Railway Guardian, built for the British Transport Police, as well as dedicated school, workplace, community and anti-VAWG apps, said: “Domestic violence is an horrific side effect of football – but it’s not the only side effect. Incidents of violence against women and girls spike in other areas too. From sexist and misogynistic online abuse towards female supporters, to sexist mass chanting: women are all too often on the receiving end.”

The Euros guide not only highlights the upcoming fixtures, which supporters can use to follow and fill in the scores of England’s Group C games, but also raises awareness on the critical issues around violence against women and girls in football. Urging fans to foster a safer and more inclusive environment, the guide includes advice on what people can do in support of this:

  • Enjoy the match responsibly: Are you being a team player, or ruining the game for someone else?

  • Inclusive chanting: Chanting should be fun for everyone.

  • Behaviour check: Would your behaviour pass a VAR check?

  • Online conduct: Pull the red card on sexist comments, call it out and report it.

  • Challenge inappropriate behaviour: Challenge sexist comments and harassing behaviour. A simple ‘That’s not ok’ can make a difference.

  • Report incidents: Seen something inappropriate and need the ref to step in? Report it to a member of staff or police.

The launch of this guide is a step towards helping ensure football becomes an enjoyable and inclusive sport for everyone. By placing this essential messaging in a medium that is more relatable to those who need to heed it, White Ribbon UK and imabi are hoping to create a safer and more respectful football culture.

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A digital copy of the Euros Fixtures Guide is available to download via the imabi website www.imabi.co.uk/euros-2024. Supporters can also order a physical copy of the guide via a donation, with any proceeds going towards a mix of White Ribbon UK and imabi’s charitable fundraising arm imabi Community CIC, a not for profit company that exists to help create safer communities and safeguard children in schools.

For more information on White Ribbon UK, please visit: https://www.whiteribbon.org.uk/

And for more on imabi, please visit: https://www.imabi.com/