A little over 12 per cent of people in Northern Ireland have been victims of domestic violence in their lives.
This figure comes from a report published by the Department of Justice in the Northern Ireland Assembly. According to the figures included in this document, just over 15 per cent of women and more than eight per cent of men between the ages of 16 and 64 have been abused by a romantic partner at least once.
Altogether that means as many as one in every eight people in the Province have experienced domestic violence. Around one in 25 adults – just over four per cent – claim they have been through it within the last three years.
People who were surveyed for this report were asked about the worst single instances of violence at the hands of a partner. Three quarters said these attacks came while they were in the relationship rather than afterwards. A large number of victims – 61 per cent – said the worst incident they experienced should be considered criminal, but as many as a fifth – 21 per cent – described their abuse as “wrong, but not a crime”. Shockingly, more than 12 per cent thought that domestic violence was “just something that happens”. This may explain why the Police are only made aware of a little over a third of these worst incidents.
The Department of Justice also estimated that around six per cent of people in Northern Ireland have been the victims of domestic abuse from people other than a partner, such as a family member.
The report was entitled Experience of Domestic Violence: Findings from the 2011/12 to 2015/16 Northern Ireland Crime Surveys (NICS). Read it here.