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Christmas Day 2018 saw police receive 116 domestic abuse calls

Police Launch Christmas Domestic Abuse Campaign – highlighting 116 calls for help on Christmas Day 2018

The Police Service of Northern Ireland has today, Monday, December 9 launched its annual Christmas Domestic Abuse campaign.

Scheduled to run until mid-January, the aim of the campaign is to encourage victims of domestic abuse to report it.

Using our animation video to highlight the message ‘Speak out to Stop it’, the campaign will be promoted via online advertising across Northern Ireland.

From 1 October 2018 to 30 September 2019 there were 31,817 domestic abuse incidents recorded an increase790 (2.5 per cent) on the previous 12 months. The figures are the highest of any 12-month period since PSNI started recording data in 2004/05.

On Christmas Day last year, there were 116 incidents reported to police compared to 84 the previous year. Figures also revealed that between Christmas Day and 27th December last year, 373 calls for help were made to police.

On January 1st alone this year, a staggering 158 incidents were reported.

Head of PSNI’s 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.”

The number of incidents of domestic abuse between 15th December and 16th January has risen steadily since 2014/15.

There were 2,704 incidents reported during this period in 2014/15, which has increased to 3,114 incidents for the same period in 2018/19.

Detective Chief Superintendent Paula Hilman added: “Every 17 minutes, our officers respond to an incident of domestic abuse.

“While this tells us more victims are finding the courage to pick up the phone and call us and make a report, which is encouraging, we must never forget that behind each statistic is a victim with a harrowing story of abuse.

“I want to encourage all victims – regardless of age, race, gender or sexual orientation – to come forward and report what is happening to us. 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.

Detective Chief Superintendent Hilman concluded: “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.

“As the Police Service of Northern Ireland, it is our job to keep people safe. 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.

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

“Anyone who is suffering from domestic abuse can contact police on the non-emergency 101 number or 999 in an emergency.

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

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