Domestic violence campaign hits NI streets

More victims of domestic violence in Northern Ireland may be persuaded to visit their solicitors ad make their case known as a new campaign has just been launched by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

Named 'Domestic Abuse can only stop when you report it', the campaign will get its message across via three different approaches on three different posters.

North and east Belfast, Lisburn, Craigavon and Derry will be targeted by the posters, as these areas have been the worst hit by domestic violence issues in Northern Ireland.

But the problem is widespread. For example, from April 2006 to March 2007, Fermanagh police received 557 calls for domestic violence incidents, although many more will have gone unreported.

A spokesperson for Fermanagh police force said that its dedicated domestic violence unit often sees cases in which victims are attacked over 30 times. "Seventy per cent of first time reports to police will not be the first time domestic violence has occurred towards that victim," the spokesperson said.

A PSNI spokesperson added: "Domestic violence is primarily about power and control, where one individual seeks to assert domination over another. We do try to encourage people to come forward," the spokeswoman added. "If the police are contacted, for instance, with a '999' call, a domestic violence officer will always follow up in plain clothes."

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