Billy Joe Saunders criticised by domestic abuse charity over "shocking" video

Billy Joe Saunders' conduct has been branded "dangerous and shocking" by a domestic abuse charity.

The world champion filmed himself appearing to encourage men to assault their partners during the coronavirus lockdown.

Saunders has since apologised but has been banned from boxing while the incident is investigated.

And leading charity Refuge have released a statement condemning the boxer's beahviour.

Chief Executive Sandra Horley said: "Videos like this reinforce what we already know: society's attitude towards domestic violence simply has to change.

"Almost one in three women aged 16-59 in England and Wales will experience domestic abuse at some point in her lifetime.

"Domestic abuse is never a joke, it should never be trivialised. Doing so serves only to normalise violence against women and girls when instead we should be steadfastly challenging it.

"What sort of message does this video send to survivors of domestic abuse? That their experiences are not valid? That the abuse they experienced is trivial? That their experience is appropriate material for online jokes?

"Across England and Wales two women every week are killed by a current of former partner. This statistic should horrify us all, and should mean any attempts to trivialise domestic abuse are met with resistance and shame.

"Right now, across the country, women are isolated at home with abusive partners. Sharing content like this is as dangerous as it is shocking and we should call it out for what it is; unacceptable."

Saunders has vowed to donate £25,000 to domestic abuse charities and has revealed he has since received death threats.

His promoter Eddie Hearn labelled his fighter's behaviour "idiotic".

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