The Police Service of Northern Ireland has today (14 December) launched the Domestic Abuse Christmas Campaign to encourage anyone who is a victim of abuse 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.
Speaking at the launch, 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 24 December to 28 December 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, the highest level recorded since 2004/05. Over the same period, last year, there were 13,313 domestic abuse crimes reported to police.
“Between October 2014 and September 2015, there was 28, 189 incidents of domestic abuse reported. Over the same period, last year, there were 27, 974 incidents of domestic abuse reported. We also know that a large number of incidents aren’t reported to police at all.
“As the Police Service of Northern Ireland, it is our job to keep people safe. We know that domestic abuse is a frightening crime which can affect anyone often leaving them feeling isolated and alone.
“We are launching this campaign to remind everyone that no one should have to endure abuse. If you are a victim of abuse, please remember you are not alone and that there are people who can help you.
Please come forward and report the matter to police.
“Our role is about prevention, protection and prosecution – to prevent further violence, to protect the victim, children and other vulnerable people and to facilitate the prosecution of offenders.”
We work closely with our partner agencies to ensure the victims get the help they deserve, to highlight the issue of Domestic Abuse and to explore ways in which we can keep communities safer.
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.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland would strongly encourage anyone suffering from domestic abuse to contact their local police on the non-emergency 101 or in an emergency always call 999.