PSNI campaign reaches out to domestic abuse victims

There were 190 instances of domestic abuse in Northern Ireland last Christmas and Boxing Days
There were 190 instances of domestic abuse in Northern Ireland last Christmas and Boxing Days

The PSNI has launched its Christmas campaign against domestic violence – encouraging anyone who is a victim to report it.

The campaign, entitled ‘Domestic abuse is wrong, pick up the phone and make it stop’ is designed to encourage the reporting of incidents and make domestic abuse victims aware that they can take steps to stop it.

It will run throughout December online and officers will also be distributing posters across Northern Ireland.

Detective Chief Superintendent George Clarke, head of the PSNI’s Public Protection Branch, said: “The sad reality is that at this time of year, the number of domestic incidents increase.

“On Christmas Day alone last year, there were 79 recorded incidents and on Boxing Day, there were 111. That is a total of 190 incidents over that two-day period.

“In the period from December 24 to December 28 last year, there were a total of 515 recorded domestic incidents.

“These statistics are shocking, especially when you consider the fact that behind every statistic is a victim who has had to endure abuse and that those victims, both male and female, may have suffered abuse many times before calling the police or contacting other agencies for assistance.

“It is also important to remember that all year round, police officers respond to an incident of domestic abuse every 19 minutes. Between October 2014 and September 2015, there were 13,599 domestic abuse crimes reported to police.”

A 24-hour Domestic and Sexual Violence Helpline is available to anyone who has concerns about domestic or sexual violence, now or in the past, on 0808 802 1414.

Domestic abuse victims can call police on the non-emergency number 101 or in an emergency on 999.