Northern Ireland

Police say domestic abuse rises at Christmas

Incidents of domestic abuse rise over the Christmas period, the police have said as they relaunch their domestic abuse campaign.

The campaign is designed to encourage the reporting of incidents and make domestic abuse victims aware that they can take steps to stop it.

"It is important that people are aware they no longer have to endure abuse," said Supt Alister Wallace.

From April to September 2011, 12,251 domestic abuse incidents were reported.

In the same period in 2010 there were 11,502 incidents reported to police.

"There is support for them and a means through the law to address the situation they are in," said Supt Wallace.

The Probation Board, Housing Executive, Men's Advisory Project, Victim Support and Women's Aid are also involved in the campaign.

Gail McLaughlin from Women's Aid said one in four women in Northern Ireland were victims of domestic abuse.

"We are happy to support this initiative by the PSNI and can assure anyone living with abuse that they are not to blame nor are they on their own - support from a range of agencies is there for them," she said.

It also aims to publicise the 24 hour Domestic Abuse helpline phone number which is 0800 917 1414.

More on this story