As the world gears up for the 2012 Olympic Games, London organizers are busy planning for nearly every foreseeable issue. While the sporting events and fanfare will no doubt be the main focus, the Olympics have shed light on another serious issue, that of domestic violence.
A center has opened near the Olympic Park that will provide shelter, support and counseling for domestic abuse and violence victims. The facility was opened in response to past research indicating an increase in instances of domestic violence when large sporting events occur.
Researchers believe a major contributing factor to increases in domestic violence they see during events such as the Olympics, stem from more people being cooped up at home. Due to the large influx of visitors to the city, many London employers have encouraged workers to work from home. Even those who will venture out for work, however, are more likely to remain indoors at home during times they normally may be out socializing.
The added stress of feeling as though you can't leave the house may be enough for already troubled relationships to turn violent. Additionally, relationships already prone to violence will likely become even more dangerous during the Olympics.
Public safety officials are also anticipating an increase in numbers of sexual assaults. Officials report that large crowds, as those expected during the Olympics, tend to breed more crimes of sexual violence such as assaults and rape.
Olympic officials have also warned of potential athlete-on-athlete assaults. They are taking preventative measures to cut down on the number of assaults within the Olympic Park and also providing services for victims.
Source: BBC, "London 2012: Domestic hub opens near Olympic Park," Josephine McDermott, July 24, 2012