One domestic abuse incident every 19 mins in NI

By Lenore Rice

Domestic abuse levels in Northern Ireland are increasing according to new statistics which reveal that there were 27,000 domestic abuse incidents reported to the police in 2013.

The figures show that there is one domestic abuse incident in Northern Ireland every 19 mins, and it is considered that the actual number is even higher due to the persistent problem of under-reporting by victims. Not all incidents of domestic abuse constitute a criminal offence, and just under a half (47 per cent) of the incidents reported to the PSNI in 2013 were recorded as crimes - 12,720 domestic abuse crimes in 2013 is the highest level on record in a decade. There were 7 murders connected to domestic abuse last year.

The PSNI are attempting to tackle the problem of under-reporting by domestic abuse victims, in particular trying to improve victim confidence in the manner in which the police will respond. A pilot scheme has already begun that has involved police officers wearing cameras attached to their uniforms. It is hoped that the cameras will improve policing accountability and victim confidence.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of domestic abuse you should contact the police urgently. If you require legal assistance with applications for emergency and subsequent Court Orders such as Non-molestation and Occupation Orders, Injunctions and Matrimonial Home rights, contact Wilson Nesbitt solicitors in Belfast by calling 0800 840 1363.