Crimestoppers launches domestic abuse campaign in Northern Ireland

Dessie Blackadder

Reporter:

Dessie Blackadder

Northern Ireland has seen an increase in domestic abuse incidents during lockdown last year and as a result, the charity Crimestoppers has launched a campaign encouraging anyone who is aware of domestic abuse happening to contact us 100% anonymously.

The campaign consists of: four videos depicting various scenarios; a radio advert; outdoor media advertising; and Facebook, Instagram and Twitter social media, running from 11 January to 12 February.

A team of professionals working at the organisation’s national Contact Centre anonymise all information – to ensure the person giving the details can never be identified - before passing it on to police to investigate and safeguard. Whether it is a neighbour, friend, work colleague or relative, no one will ever know who provided the information.

The UN has described the worldwide increase in domestic abuse as a "shadow pandemic" alongside Covid-19. Domestic abuse can be physical, psychological, emotional, sexual or financial.

It affects 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men during their lifetime. In too many cases, it results in death with 2 women murdered by a current or former partner each week across the UK. Statistics also reveal that 1 in 5 children will witness domestic abuse.

A spokesperson for the charity Crimestoppers Northern Ireland said: “We hear heart-breaking stories each and every day from people who are doing the right thing and telling us anonymously when they think domestic abuse is happening. We all need to realise that victims may be too scared and traumatised to seek help.”

Justice Minister, Naomi Long, said: “Tackling the scourge of domestic abuse is very much a key priority for me. I welcomed the opportunity to attend a meeting of the Crimestoppers NI Board in December, where I watched a video which is part of the Crimestoppers domestic abuse campaign. The video shows how some people may be aware that a family member, friend or neighbour is a victim of domestic abuse but may feel unsure about reporting to police. It highlights that Crimestoppers provides a safe, anonymous way to report suspicions of domestic abuse.

“The Department of Justice is fully conscious of the detrimental impact Covid-19 is having on victims of domestic abuse and their greater vulnerability during this period. The new environment has provided perpetrators with a greater opportunity and ability to enhance their level of coercive control on victims, as well as acts of violence.”

To report domestic abuse 100% anonymously, visit our website Crimestoppers-uk.org and fill in our simple and secure anonymous online form or call our 24/7 UK Contact Centre on freephone 0800 555 111.

Please note: Computer IP addresses are never traced and no-one will ever know you contacted us. For telephone calls, we have no caller line display, no 1471 facility and we have never traced a call.

Support and help is also available to those affected by domestic abuse, whether or not this is reported to the police. The 24-hour Domestic and Sexual Abuse Helpline is available to call free of charge 24/7 on 0808 802 1414. Web chat is also available at www.dsahelpline.org or email help@dsahelpline.org. Support is also available from local Women’s Aid Groups, www.womensaidni.org/get-help/local-groups/, as well as the Men’s Advisory Project (028 9024 1929 or 028 7116 0001).Children can contact Childline on 0800 1111 or via www.childline.org.uk.

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