Domestic abuse cases soar in Fermanagh

THERE was approximately 2,228 reported calls of people suffering from an alleged domestic abuse incident according to the police.

During November and December, the PSNI set up their ‘Season’s Greetings’ programme and they reported that ‘substantially more’ people reached out for support for domestic violence over the festive period.

Development Manager at Fermanagh Women’s Aid, Kerrie Flood, says that it’s been well documented that domestic violence cases ‘increase’ over the Christmas season.


“All Women’s Aid groups across Northern Ireland brace themselves for an increase in domestic violence over the Christmas period as do our colleagues across Policing and Social Services,” she said.

“We know that this is a time when family or friends visit, women are preoccupied by ensuring that Christmas goes smoothly and anything which shakes the abuser’s power and control or runs the risk of additional eyes on him can lead to an escalation of violence. Add to this the excuse of alcohol consumption and financial pressures and it makes for a risky time.

“We know that many women will attempt to ‘get through’ Christmas for the sake of kids and may make the decision to leave in the New Year. Research tells us that leaving is the most dangerous time and a time when the risk of fatal violence is highest.”

In a full breakdown, it’s been revealed that there was 61 calls made to the PSNI on Christmas day, with a further 87 on St Stephen’s Day, December 26.

Detective Chief Superintendent, Lindsay Fisher, said she was very disappointed to hear about the number of people seeking help and support following alleged domestic abuse incidents.

“It saddens me every year, when Christmas time approaches, that the reality for so many is that it isn’t a happy, enjoyable time for their family,” she said.

“This year’s figures are substantially more than the daily average. We are seeing the numbers of reports for the festive period begin to decrease from the highly inflated figures during and after the pandemic.”


The PSNI also revealed that there was a sharp rise in the number of people aged under 18 years old who were arrested for alleged domestic abuse related incidents.

“We have focused our awareness raising communications over the last year predominantly on social media and have seen a notable reach with a younger audience,” said the Detective Chief Superintendent.

“We hope this has played some part in giving young people the confidence to recognise and report abusive behaviours.

“It must never be forgotten that behind each one of these numbers is a victim who, statistics suggest, has endured up to 35 incidents of abuse before coming forward to report.

“We are determined to do all we can to protect them and bring perpetrators to justice.

“Domestic abuse, in all its forms, has no place in our society and tackling these crimes remains one of Police Service of Northern Ireland’s top priorities,” she added.

Fermanagh Women’s Aid is a non-profit support organisation, which relies solely on charity support. Ms Flood acknowledges that the absence of the Stormont Executive is having a real impact on their services.

“We are continuing to support more women and children than ever before and we have had huge support from the Fermanagh community,” she said.

“However, like many in the voluntary sector, the funding climate has become more hostile and we continue to hope for a return of the (Stormont) Executive to properly support our services.”

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