Christmas domestic abuse calls to PSNI every 16 minutes

A SPIKE in domestic abuse at Christmas has sent out a chilling message before the start of the festive season.
Stark figures from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) show that last year during the December and January holiday periods, they received a call every 16 minutes relating to domestic abuse.
On Christmas Day alone 97 incidents and 65 crimes were reported. On New Year’s Day, the PSNI received reports of 161 incidents and 100 crimes of domestic abuse, an increase of 17 from the year before.
This includes psychological abuse with coercive and controlling behaviour creating fear in relationships and homes.
“It’s important to remember domestic abuse is not just physical. If you are afraid of someone you live with or who you are in a relationship with, or if you’re walking on eggshells, or have no control over your own life – this is also abuse and we can help you,” Detective Superintendent Lindsay Fisher explained.
“Specialist domestic abuse detectives will be available 24 hours a day during the festive period and will treat all reports seriously.
“We work with a range of other agencies to ensure that you will receive support to help you break away from the cycle of abuse. Don’t suffer in silence this Christmas.”
The PSNI also appealed to families and friends to keep an eye out for signs that someone may be a victim of domestic abuse.
Sometimes victims are unable to contact the police, which is why it’s important the people around them who suspect something is going on raise the alarm on their behalf.
Detective Superintendent Fisher added: “We ask that everyone familiarises themselves with the signs of domestic abuse this Christmas. If you have concerns that a family member, a friend or a colleague is a victim of domestic abuse, please contact us.”
If you are suffering at the hands of an abusive partner or family member or worried about someone you love who might be, you can report it to the police on 101, or in an emergency always dial 999.
If it is an emergency and you’ve dialled 999 but cannot speak then stay on the line and press 55 when prompted, then cough or tap in response to the operator’s queries. This is called the ‘silent solution’.
A 24-hour Domestic and Sexual Abuse Helpline is available to anyone who has concerns about domestic or sexual violence, now or in the past on 0808 802 1414.

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