Northern Ireland: Amnesty calls for support for victims as domestic violence figures at highest level since records began

New figures reveal over 32,000 domestic abuse incidents in the last 12 months

Amnesty calls for funding for victim support organisations from the Northern Ireland Executive

‘This is a life and death issue and should be a matter of urgency for the Executive’ – Patrick Corrigan

Amnesty International is urging the Northern Ireland Executive to provide additional funding to groups helping victims of domestic violence, as new figures show that incidence of domestic violence in the country are now at an all-time high.

Today (August 27), the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) revealed that in the 12 months from 1st July 2019 to 30th June 2020, there were 32,127 domestic abuse incidents in Northern Ireland, an increase of 570 (1.8 per cent) on the previous year and the highest 12 month period recorded since records began in 2004/05.

Pre-lockdown, domestic incidents and crimes in Northern Ireland were already running at a 15-year high, according to figures previously published by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. In the last year, the number of domestic abuse crimes rose to 18,796, an increase of 2,203 (13.3 per cent) on the previous 12 months - equivalent to 51 a day.

Amnesty International has said that funding for victim support organisations from the Northern Ireland Executive needs to match the scale of the problem.

Patrick Corrigan, Amnesty International’s Northern Ireland Programme Director, said:

“Northern Ireland is suffering from a domestic abuse epidemic – one that is getting worse by the week and which demands a comprehensive response from government.

“Incidents of domestic violence are now at an all-time high, and the demand for domestic abuse services has gone through the roof. Women’s refuges and other specialist charities which support victims here need additional support.

“Northern Ireland faces ongoing high demand on frontline domestic abuse services, on refuges and counselling services; services which are already under strain. This is a life and death issue and should be a matter of urgency for the Executive.”

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