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The real truth about the World Cup and domestic violence

From Barbara Kay of the National Post, link thanks to Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit -

It would seem that the best time to launch a bad statistic about domestic violence is during massively attended sporting events. A gullible public seems to think that high levels of testosterone on a playing field plus alcohol just naturally translates into an astronomical escalation of male fans beating up on their wives and girlfriends.

In the latest example of myth-making on the connection between sports and domestic violence, England’s Association of Chief Police Officers stated in May that during the World Cup “cases of domestic abuse increase by nearly 30% on England match days.” The figure came from a study sponsored by the British Home Office, so it seemed credible. The shocking figure sparked a big publicity campaign, with a lurid poster featuring a cowering woman covered in bruises and the imprint of a man’s shoe.

But on their weekly show, Law in Action, two BBC legal commentators concluded that the “World Cup Abuse Nightmare” was “a stunt based on misleading figures.” The thirty percent claim came from cherrypicked data and was riddled with flaws, essentially ignoring match days when there was little or no uptick in abuse. An actually trustworthy study done by the London Metropolitan Police Authority contradicted the thirty percent “finding,” but by then the media had a story that was too good to check for veracity.

We’ve been scammed before on this subject. Anyone remember the big 1993 Super Bowl Sunday hoax? The media all jumped on a bad statistic and ran with it then too.

As Glenn observes, 'It’s like they’re more interested in the narrative than the truth'.

That observation would apply to the Home Office as well as to the Press. Their dishonesty on many different fronts has led Britain and America into terrible dangers.

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