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FIFA and WHO launch campaign to help domestic violence victims amid coronavirus lockdown

Several past and present footballing stars are taking part in the initiative which is designed to raise awareness

FIFA, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Commission have announced the #SafeHome campaign designed to support women and children at risk of domestic violence during the coronavirus pandemic.

With many families all over the world quarantined during the pandemic, there have been spikes in recent reports of domestic violence as at-risk women and children are forced into dangerous situations at home.

The three organisations have launched a five-part video campaign designed to raise awareness, with several past and present footballing stars taking part.

Among the players featured are Alvaro Arbeloa, Rosana Augusto, Vítor Baia, Khalilou Fadiga, Matthias Ginter, David James, Annike Krahn, Marco Materazzi, Milagros Menendez, Noemi Pascotto, Graham Potter, Mikael Silvestre, Kelly Smith, Oliver Torres and Clementine Toure.

“Together with the World Health Organization and the European Commission, we are asking the football community to raise awareness to this intolerable situation that threatens particularly women and children in their own home, a place where they should feel happy, safe and secure,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino in a news release.

“We cannot stay silent on this issue that negatively affects so many people. Violence has no place in homes, just as it has no place in sports. Football has the power to relay important social messages, and through the #SafeHome campaign, we want to ensure that those people experiencing violence have access to the necessary support services they need.”

The WHO and FIFA signed a four-year partnership last year to promote healthy lifestyles through football globally.

“Just as physical, sexual or psychological violence has no place in football, it has no place in the home,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization.

“We are so pleased that our partners today are joining us to draw attention to this critical issue. As people are isolated at home because of Covid-19, the risks of domestic violence have tragically been exacerbated.”

According to the WHO, 30 per cent of women globally have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime, and over half of all boys and girls aged 2–17 years experience some form of emotional, physical or sexual violence every year.

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