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Stark figures reveal extent of domestic abuse

THE number of domestic abuse incidents recorded in the local area has increased by almost 200 within a year.

New statistics revealed there was 1,955 domestic abuse incidents in the Fermanagh and Omagh policing district between October 2018 and September 2019.
Compared to the year before, this represents an increase of 189.

On account of these stark statistics, the PSNI have launched its annual Christmas Domestic Abuse campaign, aiming to encourage victims of domestic abuse to report it.

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Detective Chief Superintendent Paula Hilman, head of the PSNI’s Public Protection Branch, said, “Domestic abuse does not only occur at Christmas.

“We know it happens all year round, but we also know over the Christmas period incidents of domestic abuse rise. Every 17 minutes, our officers respond to an incident of domestic abuse. While this tells us more victims are finding the courage to pick up the phone and call us and make a report, which is encouraging, we must never forget that behind each statistic is a victim with a harrowing story of abuse.”

Locally, Omagh Women’s Aid provides supports, information and emergency accommodation for women and children affected by domestic violence.

Last year, the organisation supported 73 women through their community based Floating Support Service and accommodated 36 women and 30 children in refuge.

However, because of a lack of bed space, a further 32 women and 18 children could not be accommodated. In addition, Omagh Women’s Aid supported 469 children and young people through direct one-to-one support or preventative education group work in schools or other settings.

• Anyone who is suffering from domestic abuse can contact police on the non-emergency 101 number or 999 in an emergency. A 24-hour Domestic and Sexual Abuse Helpline is also available to anyone who has concerns about domestic or sexual abuse, now or in the past on 0808 802 1414.

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Ulster Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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