Police received almost 2,000 domestic abuse calls over Christmas fortnight

The 1,959 calls received between December 14 and January 1, is 12% up on the same period a year before.

A shadow of a man with a clenched fist as a woman cowers in the corner (picture posed by model) (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
A shadow of a man with a clenched fist as a woman cowers in the corner (picture posed by model) (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Police in Northern Ireland received almost 2,000 calls for help around domestic abuse in just two weeks over Christmas.

Some 1,959 calls for help from domestic abuse victims and concerned loved ones were received between December 14 and January 1.

The PSNI say the figure represents a 12% increase on the same period the year before.

Some 100 incidents of domestic abuse were reported to police on Christmas Day, down from 118 last year, and on December 26, 145 incidents were reported, up from 142 on December 26 2020.

Meanwhile on New Year’s Eve, 100 incidents of domestic abuse were reported, up from 75 on December 21 2020.

On New Year’s Day, 170 incidents of domestic abuse were reported, up from 142 for the same period the year before.

The PSNI ran its annual Season’s Greetings campaign across the same fortnight to encourage the reporting of incidents.

Chief Inspector Lindsay Fisher said incidents of domestic violence often increase around the festive season.

“Sadly, for many people Christmas isn’t always the most wonderful time of the year,” she said.

“During the festive period, we often see reports of domestic abuse increase and unfortunately this year was no exception to this.

“This year we received 1,959 calls for help during our campaign (from December 14 to January 1) from domestic abuse victims and concerned loved ones.

“This is an increase of 12% compared to the same period the year before.”

Chief Insp Fisher said domestic abuse is not just physical, but can be threatening, controlling, violence or abusive behaviour toward the victims.

“You don’t need to stay silent. The Police Service of Northern Ireland is here to help you. Not just at Christmas, but all year round. Twenty-four hours a day. Every day,” she said.

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

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