The Police Service of Northern Ireland has today, (16 December) launched a new Domestic abuse poster campaign in the run-up to Christmas.

The campaign, entitled ‘Domestic abuse is wrong, pick up the phone and make it stop’ is designed to encourage the reporting of incidents and make domestic abuse victims aware that they can take steps to stop it.

The campaign will also run throughout December online and officers will be distributing the posters across Northern Ireland.

Speaking about the initiative Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton, Service Improvement Department said, “We know that incidents of Domestic Abuse rise over the Christmas period.  Since 1 October 2013 – 30 September 2014 we have received 27,931 reports of domestic abuse incidents.  This is in comparison to the previous year’s figure of 27,596.

“The Police Service of Northern Ireland respond to one incident of domestic abuse every 19 minutes, this is a frightening statistic.  However, we still believe that a large number of domestic incidents are unreported.

“We know that Domestic Abuse is a frightening crime which can affect anyone, both women and men.  Very often victims are isolated.  No one should have to endure abuse and I want to encourage all victims of domestic abuse to come forward and report the matter to the police.”

The Police Service continues to work with key stakeholders to highlight the issue of Domestic Abuse and explore ways in which we can keep communities safer.  Recently, the Police Service of Northern Ireland was one of first recipients of the Onus training and Consultancy Service Platinum Awards, which is given to organisations who have committed to joining with Onus in extending the Safe Place message ‘never to commit, condone or stay silent about domestic violence’.

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

The Police Service of Northern Ireland would strongly encourage anyone suffering from domestic abuse to contact their local police on the non-emergency 101 or in an emergency always call 999.

Further information

The Police Service of Northern Ireland’s definition of Domestic Abuse is any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, verbal, sexual, financial or emotional) inflicted on one person by another, where they are intimate partners or family members, irrespective of gender or sexual orientation.

Annual figures on domestic abuse incidents and crimes from 2004/05 to 2013/14 are available in the publication Trends in Domestic Abuse Incidents and Crimes Recorded by the Police in Northern Ireland 2004/05 to 2013/14.

Further details on Police Recorded Crime statistics, including those with a domestic abuse motivation, are available in the User Guide to Police Recorded Crime Statistics in Northern Ireland.

This is a reference guide with explanatory notes regarding the issues and classifications which are key to the production and presentation of police recorded crime statistics. The definition of domestic abuse upon which these statistics are based is also available in this user guide and on the PSNI website .