Northern Ireland news

Domestic abuse calls rose on Christmas Day but dropped over entire festive period

Domestic abuse calls rose on Christmas Day compared to the previous year, new police figures have shown.

Domestic abuse calls rose on Christmas Day compared to the year before, new police figures have shown.

A total of 111 domestic abuse reports were made on Christmas Day 2020, compared to 96 in 2019.

The same pattern was reported on St Stephen's Day, when 132 reports of domestic abuse were made - 14 higher than on the same day in 2019.

However, the overall number of domestic abuse reports over the festive period dropped compared to the same period in 2019.

READ MORE: With domestic abuse on the increase during lockdown, here's how to seek help

New figures released by the PSNI yesterday showed that during its Christmas domestic abuse campaign, the force received 3,341 calls for help about abuse compared to 3,584 over the same period the year before.

The PSNI's 'Speak Out' campaign aimed to encourage victims to report domestic abuse.

Detective Superintendent Eamonn Corrigan, from the PSNI's Public Protection Branch, said: "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".

Mr Corrigan said domestic abuse 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."

He said police also work with other agencies including Women’s Aid, the Rainbow Project and Men’s Advisory Project, who also offer services and advice.

Police can be contacted on 101.

Victims who are too frightened to speak or make a noise can ring 999 and then press 55 when prompted.

Victims can also ring the 24-hour Domestic and Sexual Abuse Helpline on 0808 802 1414.

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Northern Ireland news