Geneva: Football’s world governing body FIFA, World Health Organization (WHO), and the European Commission (EC) have together launch the #SafeHome campaign to support women and children at risk of domestic violence.

The campaign is a joint response from the three institutions to the recent spikes in reports of domestic violence as stay-at-home measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) have put women and children experiencing abuse at greater risk, they said in a joint news release.

Also read: Suresh Raina disturbed by domestic violence cases

Almost one in three women worldwide experience physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner or sexual violence by someone else in their lifetime.

In a majority of cases, that violence is committed by a partner in their home - indeed, up to 38% of all murders of women are committed by an intimate partner. It is also estimated that one billion children aged between two and seventeen years (or half the world’s children) have experienced physical, sexual, or emotional violence or neglect in the past year.

Also read: Domestic violence cases on the rise in lockdown

“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 WHO. “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.”

“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. “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.”

A five-part video awareness campaign features 15 past and present footballers - Álvaro Arbeloa, Rosana Augusto, Vítor Baía, Khalilou Fadiga, Matthias Ginter, David James, Annike Krahn, Marco Materazzi, Milagros Menéndez, Noemi Pascotto, Graham Potter, Mikaël Silvestre, Kelly Smith, Óliver Torres and Clementine Touré - who have stressed their support to addressing this critical issue.

The campaign is being published on various FIFA digital channels, with #SafeHome also being supported with multimedia toolkits for the 211 FIFA member associations and for various media agencies to help facilitate additional localisation and to further amplify the message worldwide.