Domestic violence in Northern Ireland 'endemic'

Northern Ireland faces an 'endemic' problem with domestic violence, it has been claimed.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland has launched a campaign against the issue, after officers attended 6,400 cases relating to the crime last year.

In a report, Basil McCrea, chair of the policing board's human rights and professional standards committee, said that domestic violence in the country is "everybody's problem", UTV reports.

However, in order for the problem to be addressed, people suffering from domestic abuse must come forward, he added.

Mihael McGimpsey, health minister, said that it affected all sectors of society - people from different social ethnic and economic backgrounds in Belfast and across Northern Ireland.

"I want to send out a clear message that domestic and sexual violence are crimes which will not be tolerated," he added.

Because domestic is a criminal offence, solicitors can mount legal cases against perpetrators.

Those suffering from domestic violence can also visit one of charity Women's Aid's centres.

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