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Study Football Team Losses Linked To Domestic Violence

Professional football may be an unlikely contributing factor to domestic violence in New Jersey. Time Magazine reports that a comprehensive study of emergency calls indicates that there is up to a 10 percent spike in domestic violence reports in the hour after a local football team has unexpectedly lost a game.

The Quarterly Journal of Economics study also indicates that the volume of domestic violence calls doubles when a local football team loses to a traditional rival or if the team loses during playoffs.

Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women in the Unites States. Victims of domestic violence who consult with experienced family law attorneys may be able to find refuge from an abusive partner through a temporary restraining order. A temporary restraining order is a court ordered method of preventing the abusive partner from physically or emotionally abusing the victimized partner.

“A lot of domestic violence doesn’t happen because people like to hit or control people,” says one of the reporters of the study. “It seems like there is a role for some people basically losing their temper, and hitting an emotional cue that allows them to do something in the heat of the moment that they later regret.”

Managing expectations may be a key to preventing domestic violence. One of the triggers for domestic violence may be the uncontrolled disappointment in a home football team losing unexpectedly. There was no reported surge in domestic violence calls when the local teams were expected to lose. There was also no decrease in domestic violence when a team won unexpectedly.

“It doesn’t matter whether you lose the game, but it does matter in your emotional reaction when you lose the game when you thought your team was going to win,” the reporter said. “Upsetting bad news is really bad, and upsetting or unexpected good news is okay, but doesn’t have the same positive effect as unexpected bad news has on emotions.”

Source: Time Magazine, “Fan Rage: How Home Team Losses Contribute to Domestic Violence,” Alice Park, 3/22/11