The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) has launched a domestic violence awareness campaign to combat the rise in incidents over the Christmas period.
It will run throughout December both online and via posters throughout the Province. Police hope it will encourage victims to report their abuse, either to a 24-hour specialist helpline or to the police directly.
Last year, there were 79 recorded incidents of violence within the home across the Province on Christmas Day and a further 111 on Boxing Day. Between 24 and 28 December, a total of 515 cases were reported.
Detective Chief Superintendent George Clarke is Head of the PSNI’s Public Protection Branch. He said last year’s statistics were “shocking” and called the increase in domestic violence over the holiday period a “sad reality”.
Speaking at the campaign’s official launch, he added that the rise in reported cases was especially troubling as “both male and female” victims could have been abused “many times before calling the police or contacting other agencies for assistance”.
Clarke said domestic violence was “a frightening crime which can affect anyone often leaving them feeling isolated and alone” and that the PSNI’s campaign sought to “remind everyone that no one should have to endure abuse”.
Earlier this year, the Citizens Advice organisation suggested that only one in five people can easily identify signs of domestic violence.
Watch the PSNI’s campaign launch video here.