The Police Service of Northern Ireland have today released figures on domestic abuse incidents over the Christmas period.
The aim of the campaign, entitled ‘Speak Out’, which ran from 9th December until 17th January, was to encourage the reporting of domestic abuse incidents and make victims aware they can come forward to report abuse to police and be sure they will be treated with respect and dignity.
Detective Superintendent Eamonn Corrigan, Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Public Protection Branch, said: “Domestic abuse, in all its forms, is a terrifying crime that can affect anyone.
"We are all living in extraordinary times, trying to deal with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, which can make those suffering from domestic abuse feel even more isolated and vulnerable. However, my message is clear – you are not alone. Do not suffer in silence, please talk to us. We are here to help you. We will treat you with sensitivity and respect and help you explore your options to get justice.
"I can assure everyone who comes to us that we will be with them every step of the way.
“It is important that anyone suffering from domestic abuse knows they should not have to endure this horrific behaviour and that there are people who can help them make it stop. Police are not the only body who offer advice and help in cases of domestic abuse. We also work closely with a range of partner agencies including Women’s Aid; Rainbow Project and Men’s Advisory Project, who also offer a wide range of services and advice.
Detective Superintendent Corrigan continued: “We know domestic abuse doesn’t only occur at Christmas; that it happens all year round but, sadly, historically figures show over the Christmas period incidents of domestic abuse can rise.
“During our Christmas domestic abuse campaign, which ran from 9th December 2020 until 17th January this year, we received 3,341 calls for help in relation to domestic abuse incidents compared to 3,584 for the same period the year before (a decrease of 243 calls).
“During this same period however, we received 2,116 reports of domestic crimes, compared to 2,155 for the same period the year before (a decrease of 39 calls).
“On Christmas Day, 111 incidents of domestic abuse were reported to us, compared to 96 for the same period the year before (an increase of 15 reports).
During this same period we received 72 reports of domestic crimes, compared to 53 for the same period the year before (an increase of 19 crimes)
On 26 December, 132 incidents of domestic abuse were reported to us compared to 118 for the same period the year before (an increase of 14 reports).
During this same period we received 100 reports of domestic crimes, compared to 73 for the same period the year before (an increase of 27 reports)
On New Year’s Day, we received reports of 139 incidents of domestic abuse compared to 189 for the same period the year before (a decrease of 50 calls).
During this same period we received 98 reports of domestic crimes, compared to 111 for the same period the year before (a decrease of 13 reports)
“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 want anyone impacted by domestic abuse to know there is help out there. Police can be contacted on 101, or a 24-hour Domestic and Sexual Abuse Helpline is available to anyone who has concerns about domestic or sexual violence, now or in the past on 0808 802 1414. We also have the Silent Solutions Service which enables a 999 caller who is too scared to make a noise, or speak, to press 55 when prompted.