09/12/2019

Recorded Domestic Abuse Incidents On The Rise- PSNI

Over 30,000 incidents of domestic abuse were recorded in Northern Ireland in the last year, it has emerged.

Christmas Day 2018 alone saw 116 incidents reported, a sharp increase on the 84 from the previous year. Statistics have also shown that between 25 and 27 December, 373 calls for help were made to police.

The figures were revealed as the PSNI launches its annual Christmas Domestic Abuse campaign.

Scheduled to run until mid-January, it aims to encourage victims of domestic abuse to report it by delivering the 'Speak out to Stop it' message via a new animation and online advertising.

The 31,817 incidents represent an increase of 2.5% on the previous year and are the highest of any 12 month period since PSNI records began in 2004/05.

On January 1st alone this year, a staggering 158 incidents were reported, and police are now responding to such reports every 17 minutes.

Head of the Public Protection Branch, Detective Chief Superintendent Paula Hilman said: "Domestic abuse does not only occur at Christmas. We know it happens all year round, but we also know over the Christmas period incidents of domestic abuse rise."
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While more recorded cases means that more victims are finding the courage to pick up the phone, Detective Chief Superintendent Hilman said a victim with a "harrowing story of abuse" lies behind each statistic.

"I want to encourage all victims - regardless of age, race, gender or sexual orientation - to come forward and report what is happening to us," she continued. "Speak out to stop it and we will help you. If you are a victim, you do not have to suffer in silence. You can come forward to report any incident of domestic abuse to us.

"Domestic abuse is a crime and until victims are aware there is a safe environment to share their concerns, they will continue to hold on to the secret of domestic abuse.

"Domestic abuse is a terrifying and impactful crime and it is vital that victims know there is help."

Police can be contacted on 101 or by calling 999 in an emergency.

A 24-hour Domestic and Sexual Abuse Helpline is also available for anyone with concerns about domestic or sexual abuse, now or in the past, on 0808 802 1414.

Watch the video below to view the PSNI animation:





(JG/CM)

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