Press Release

18 June 2021

Refuge statement on social media images glorifying domestic abuse ahead of England v Scotland.

Refuge statement on the sharing of images on social media which glorify and normalise domestic abuse ahead of England’s game against Scotland this evening.

Refuge unequivocally condemns the images, films and memes which are being shared on social media ahead of the England v Scotland game this evening, which glorify violence against women and girls and domestic abuse. They have turned our stomachs. They are wholly unacceptable.

Two women a week across England and Wales are killed by a current or former partner, and one in four women experience domestic abuse at some point in their lifetime.

Portraying violence against women and girls in this way is frankly insulting to the more than 7,000 women and children Refuge supports on any given day, and the millions more experiencing domestic abuse who have yet to seek support. What sort of message do these images send them? That domestic abuse is ‘good for a laugh’, that male banter about their experiences is some sort of acceptable humour?

I know there will be many thousands of England, Scotland and Wales fans who will be as appalled by these images as I am. I encourage them to actively call this out on the social media where these images are being shared. Only by speaking out and challenging misogyny can we hope to achieve anything close to gender equality. While women’s lives and experiences are being used in this way, remaining silent is not an option.

I urge all media outlets reporting on this story to please signpost to Refuge’s National Domestic Abuse Helpline –  which is freephone, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 0808 2000 247, or at

To any woman who needs us – my message is clear. Refuge is here for you, before the game, during the game, after the game, and whenever you need us. We will listen, we will hear you, we will support you. You are not alone.


About Refuge:

Refuge is the country’s largest single provider of specialist domestic services and supports more than 7,000 women and children on any given day. Refuge also runs the National Domestic Abuse Helpline, which is the gateway to accessing specialist support across the country. More than one in four women in England and Wales experiences domestic abuse at some point in their lifetime, and two women a week are killed by a current or former partner.

Please signpost to Refuge’s National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000 247, available 24 hours a day 7 days a week for free, confidential specialist support. Or visit to fill in a webform and request a safe time to be contacted or to access live chat (live chat available 3pm-10pm, Monday to Friday). For real time automated guidance on how to secure your personal devices Refuge also has a Tech Safety Tool.