Northern Ireland

Domestic violence: Hundreds of domestic abuse calls made at Christmas

Domestic violence, controlling and coercive behaviour Image copyright Getty Images

The PSNI received 400 domestic abuse complaints on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day last year.

Police confirmed the figure at the launch of their annual Christmas Domestic Abuse Campaign.

They received 116 calls for help on Christmas Day, 126 calls on Boxing Day and 158 calls on New Year's Day.

Between July 2018 and June 2019, there were 16,575 domestic abuse crimes recorded, which was the highest since records began in 2004/05.

PSNI Det Ch Sup Paula Hilman said officers respond to an incident of domestic abuse every 17 minutes with "a significant increase in reporting at this time of the year".

Speaking to Good Morning Ulster, Ms Hilman urged people to report domestic abuse, which she said affected "all walks of life".

"There is never ever any excuse. Any abuse is wrong, everyone has the right to feel safe, especially in their own home," she said.

Image copyright laflor/Getty Images
Image caption Domestic violence can affect women and men

Anyone who is suffering domestic abuse can contact police on the non-emergency 101 number or 999 in an emergency.

A 24-hour Domestic and Sexual Abuse Helpline is also available to anyone who has concerns about domestic or sexual abuse, now or in the past on 0808 802 1414.