PSNI launch summer domestic abuse campaign

By Lenore Rice

PSNI are urging victims of domestic abuse in Northern Ireland to make a report to the police, as they prepare for another summer period of increased incidents of violence.

There were 29,166 reports of domestic abuse in Northern Ireland in 2016/17, with months of July and August showing a marked increase. During those two months the PSNI were receiving 80 reports of domestic abuse a day, totalling 4,960. The total for the year reached 29,166 – the highest since recording began in 2004/05.

Under-reporting is still considered to be a significant problem, and the increase in figures in recent years is thought to be down in part to an improved willingness to make a report to the police. However, the PSNI consider that there is still a large number of victims of domestic abuse that suffer in silence, and they are launching their summer campaign encouraging more people to come forward. An annual survey suggests that the police are not informed of as many as 60 per cent of the worst cases of domestic abuse. The survey also revealed concerning attitudes in respect of domestic abuse, with 21 per cent of those surveyed saying they believed serious offences were “wrong, but not a crime” and 12.3 per cent considered that it was “just something that happens.”

A 24-hour domestic and sexual abuse helpline is available by calling 0808 802 1414.

If you require legal advice in respect of a domestic abuse issue, including the application of emergency and subsequent Court Orders such as injunctions and Non-molestation and Occupation Orders, contact one of the solicitors specialising in domestic abuse at Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast or Bangor by clicking here.