Belfast Telegraph

Domestic abuse given the red card

With the World Cup underway, police in south and east Belfast have warned that domestic abuse will be given the red card.

The number of incidents of domestic abuse in B district, which covers both areas, has risen by 0.7 percent in the year ended March 31, 2010 and officers are aware that the problem increases at periods when people are drinking more, such as the World Cup.

As part of their ongoing campaign to tackle domestic abuse, police across south and east Belfast have been working closely with agencies including Women’s Aid and the local DPP to encourage the reporting of incidents and underline the message to those suffering from abuse do not suffer in silence.

Sergeant Patricia Higgins, from B District’s Public Protection Unit believes with the increase in alcohol consumption, incidents of domestic abuse may increase. Across Northern Ireland, the total number of incidents reported in 2009/10 was 24,482, up from 23,591 the previous year.

“We will be targeting all areas across Northern Ireland, aided with the domestic abuse campaign,” said Sgt Higgins.

“Alongside radio and online advertising, the campaign aims to publicise the 24 hour domestic abuse helpline. Victims of domestic abuse come from every walk in life and can be any age or gender and this is reflected in our advertisements.

“Unfortunately, there are still incidents of domestic abuse in Northern Ireland that go unreported. Our message for the campaign is ‘domestic abuse can only stop when you report it’ and that is exactly what we want victims to do.”

Further information visit www.psni.police.uk/index/advice-and-legislation/domestic_abuse.htm. The 24 hour Domestic Abuse helpline number is freephone 0800 917 1414.

Belfast Telegraph

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