Figures show increase in domestic violence

New figures released by the Citizens Advice Bureaux indicate an 11 per cent increase in the number of people advising that they have suffered domestic violence.

In the last three months of 2012 there were 3,300 reported domestic violence cases - up 11 per cent on the same period last year. There were 13,500 reported cases for the whole of 2012, and 16 per cent of those cases related to domestic violence involving children. The overwhelming majority of cases (80 per cent) involved violence against women.

There is a certain element of uncertainty when comparing domestic violence or domestic abuse statistics year on year, as there has been an increasing amount of effort by the police and related groups to improve the reporting of domestic violence. That numbers increase over one period compared to another may be in some part due to an increase in the number of victims coming forward, which is very positive. Also, the recent expansion of the definition of domestic abuse to include stalking and controlling behaviour, means more  victims are now officially categorised as suffering from domestic abuse, when in previous years they would not have been caught under the narrower definition.

If you or someone you know in Northern Ireland has or is suffering domestic abuse, contact one of the family solicitors at Wilson Nesbitt for information on the legal options available by calling 0800 840 1363.