#FearFreeFootball

Purna Sen is a trustee of Rise, the domestic violence charity
Purna Sen is a trustee of Rise, the domestic violence charity

They are the statistics that every World Cup football fan should know.

They are the statistics that every World Cup football fan should know.

When England beat Slovenia in 2010, reports of domestic violence increased by more than a quarter (27%)

And when England lost 4-1 to Germany, they increased even more sharply - up by 29%.

Whether England win or lose, violence against women and girls increases, according to official figures obtained from police forces across the country under the freedom of information act.

In Brighton and Hove, #FearFreeFootball aims at highlighting the ugly side of the beautiful game. Nobody should be in fear for their safety during this World Cup.

I am a member of the board of Rise - our local domestic abuse charity - which is on the front line, supporting women who are on the receiving end of abuse.

Rise works in Brighton, Hove, and throughout West Sussex, offering services that include refuge accommodation, crisis appointments, a helpline, training and preventative education. They are critical to providing safety for abused women and their children.

Domestic violence is a year-round issue, but if England lose  - or win - thier matches, it could get worse. We need to make it clear that this is not acceptable.

What you can do? Refuse to participate in jokes about abuse; challenge men who abuse; support women who are struggling with violence in their lives.

We can all do our bit to make a difference by showing our support for #FearFreeFootball. Please donate to RISE if you can and help to stop the ugly side of the beautiful game.

I and my supporters will be raising money for Rise during the World Cup. If you would like to give, visit: www.riseuk.org.uk

Purna Sen is the Labour Party’s parliamentary candidate for Brighton Pavilion.

To contact Rise for support, telephone 01273 622822. The national domestic violence helpline is 0808 2000 247 (freephone). If you are in danger call 999.