100 domestic abuse incidents reported to police on Christmas Day
ALMOST 100 domestic abuse incidents were reported to police on Christmas Day last year.
Police respond to one every 18 minutes throughout the year and the problem often intensifies over Christmas.
The PSNI is encouraging victims to come forward this festive season.
Detective chief superintendent George Clarke said: "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."
A special campaign will run online during December and January encouraging greater reporting.
From December 24 to 31 last year there were 717 reports of domestic abuse incidents.
On Christmas Day last year there were 94 incidents reported, compared to 79 from the previous year.
On St Stephen's Day police 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," Mr Clarke said.
"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."
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.