Domestic Abuse Christmas Campaign Launch

  • 16 December 2016

Domestic Abuse Christmas Campaign Launch - with figures showing 94 reports of domestic abuse incidents received on Christmas Day 2015

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The Police Service of Northern Ireland has today, (16 December) launched its domestic abuse campaign in the run-up to Christmas.  The key message of the campaign ‘If you feel like you’re walking on eggshells that’s domestic abuse’ is designed to encourage the reporting of incidents and make victims aware that they can take steps to stop it. 

The campaign will run online during December and January encouraging victims to come forward to report incidents of domestic abuse.

Discussing the campaign Detective Chief Superintendent George Clarke, Head of the PSNI’s Public Protection Branch, said: “We know that over the Christmas period unfortunately incidents of domestic abuse rise.  From the 24th  to 31st December last year there were 717 reports of domestic abuse incidents.  If we break these figures down further, on Christmas Day last year there were 94 incidents reported, compared to 79 from the previous year.  While on Boxing Day, we had 119 incidents, compared to 111 in 2014. That is a total increase of 23 incidents of domestic abuse over both days.  These statistics are alarming, especially when you consider 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.

“We know that domestic abuse is a frightening crime which can affect anyone.  Very often victims are isolated.  No one should have to endure abuse and I want to encourage all victims of domestic abuse to come forward and report the matter to the police.  Christmas is supposed to be a time of joy, but unfortunately there are many houses across Northern Ireland that are facing a very different Christmas.

“Between October 2015 and September 2016, there were a total 28,811 domestic abuse incidents reported to police compared to 28,170 from the same period the previous year. Although these figures are shocking, we know that a large number of incidents still go unreported to police.

“Police respond to an incident of Domestic Abuse every 18 minutes. 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 our Christmas campaign today 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.”

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 number 101 or in an emergency always call 999.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland’s definition of Domestic Abuse is any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, verbal, sexual, financial or emotional) inflicted on one person by another, where they are intimate partners or family members, irrespective of gender or sexual orientation.

Additional information:

Please see below link to report: Domestic Abuse Incidents and Crimes Recorded by the Police in Northern Ireland: Quarterly Update to 30 September 2016 (Published 24 November 2016)

Keeping People Safe