We need to stop honouring men who abuse women

We need to stop honouring men who abuse women

The retired cricketer Geoffrey Boycott, who was given a knighthood on 10th September is not the first, and won’t be the last, convicted abuser to be lauded in public. The way in which society seems to be able to dismiss a man’s violence against a woman when set against some achievement, often sporting, is deeply concerning. In the case of Boycott, he was convicted of assaulting his girlfriend in 1998, given a 3 month suspended sentence and fined £5,300. He lost an appeal.

F.C. Nomads lead the way for White Ribbon UK

We are delighted that Flintshire grassroots football team F.C. Nomads have announced their new kit, featuring white ribbons, sponsored by the Carl Sargeant Memorial Fund. F.C. Nomads have already been leading the way with their commitment towards White Ribbon UK, and this is another important step.

FC Nomads Photo.jpeg

The football club also announced that they would sell white ribbons at their clubhouse. This has proved extremely successful, with over £200 being raised. The club have decided to reinvest the money in the campaign by buying more white ribbon pin badges for sale, and for banners to be located at their stadium to raise awareness of the issue.

This is another reminder that we should never commit, excuse or remain silence about male violence against women. Together we will end male violence against women. From local activists to policy makers, we all have an obligation to play our part.

White Ribbon UK invited to England World Cup warm-up match

Our World Cup campaign was given a massive boost at the England v Costa Rica warm up match which took place at Elland Road, Leeds on 7 June. We were delighted that Ikram Butt, White Ribbon’s sports programme coordinator was invited by the Football Association as a guest to the match, the last of their friendlies for England, prior to their departure heading off to Qatar for the World Cup competition….

World Cup 2018


What you need to know:

The most detailed research into the links between the football World Cup and domestic abuse rates has revealed that in one force area in England and Wales, violent incidents increased by 38% when England lost – but also rose by 26% when they won.

The research, by Lancaster University criminologist Dr Stuart Kirby, a former police officer, monitored police reports of domestic violence during the last three World Cups in 2002, 2006 and 2010.

While domestic violence rose after each England game, incidents also increased in frequency at each new tournament. Separate national research examining the 2010 World Cup echoed the Kirby findings – with domestic abuse reports up 27.7% when the England team won a game, and 31.5% when they lost.

Source: The Guardian June 14, 2014.

What can I do?

We know that on average, domestic abuse rises during World Cup season in the UK.  As a charity that mobilises men, White Ribbon UK ask men to be active in stopping this from happening. Domestic abuse is not only tragic, it is illegal.

Football clubs will decide how best they can fulfil their responsibilities.  

Organisations must send a clear message that violence against women and children is “completely unacceptable”, joining the chorus for equality and justice, and breaking the silence that surrounds violence against women and girls.

 Clubs can also work through their Community Foundations to provide “positive role models to younger people in the community, encouraging healthy and non-abusive relationships”.

Stewards must be expected to challenge any sexist or homophobic remarks. Clubs can be encouraged to display the World Cup posters and other White Ribbon posters, which challenge abusive behaviour and sexism

As individuals, we need you to:

Swear the White Ribbon pledge,

Wear the Badge

Share the Message

Part of swearing the White Ribbon pledge means not excusing, or remaining silent about male violence against women.  That means being vigilant, particularly around the World Cup period; and looking out for the warning signs of violence:

  • Coercive control

  • Sexist language

  • Excessive drinking

  • Anger and rage


A campaign pack is available on our shop, which includes posters, postcards, badges and information on violence during the World Cup. This can be distributed amongst Football Clubs, local events, youth and family initiatives, schools etc., or used as part of a campaign event. In doing this we hope that we can raise awareness at a personal level, and come together to stop the pattern of increased violence during this period.