Charity Backs Domestic Campaign

The charity Women’s Aid has welcomed a new police campaign aimed at encouraging people to report domestic violence. It will run initially in north and east Belfast, Craigavon, Foyle and Lisburn for two weeks.

Last year there were 23,456 incidents reported in Northern Ireland, almost 400 more than the previous year. Patricia Lyness of Women’s Aid said those who report abuse need to have confidence in the justice system.

“The reporting of it is just the first step in the process,” she said. “There must be very sound systems and processes in place in the criminal and civil justice systems so that if women actually take a prosecution they can be sure that the sentence that is given is going to actually fit the crime.”

Assistant Chief Constable Drew Harris said victims often felt isolated. “I want to say to victims that you are not alone,” he said. “It’s important that the message is getting out that people no longer have to endure abuse that there is support for them and a means through the law to address the situation they are in.”

ACC Harris said the PSNI had 60 officers dealing with domestic violence.