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Domestic violence on the rise in Limavady

By Claire Wier

Reported domestic violence incidents have risen in Limavady in a year, while figures for Londonderry and Strabane have declined.

The revelation comes as a seasonal campaign to combat such crimes was launched in Derry.

Yesterday local Women's Aid workers also said that last Christmas, the number of families using its refuge nearly doubled.

In the 2004/2005 financial year, police in the Derry area recorded 651 incidents of domestic violence. In 2005/2006 that dropped to 572.

In Strabane, the 04/05 figure was 323 incidents, falling to 216 last year. But in Limavady the 04/05 period recorded 204 incidents, and 222 last year.

Women's aid worker Margaret Gallagher said the statistics probably show that more women are coming forward to report violence.

"Our services in Limavady are about a year behind Strabane and the fact that reported incidents of abuse have risen could be a sign that more people are coming forward," she said. "If figures go up year on year, then that is more worrying. We need to be targeting repeat victims and repeat offenders. Our services in Limavady are being expanded and it is one of our busiest centres."

Incidents of domestic violence are known to increase at Christmas, and this week police joined with Foyle Women's Aid to help bring the figures down.

Much of the reduction in reported incidents in the Derry area has been put down to a successful partnership involving police, Foyle Women's Aid and other statutory agencies.

PSNI Foyle District Commander Richard Russell said: "Police will respond sympathetically to calls and we will enforce any breaches of non-molestation orders granted by the courts"

Foyle Women's Aid offers a 24-hour 365-day service in the Foyle area.

Belfast Telegraph


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