The Domestic and Sexual Abuse (DSA) Helpline, hosted by Nexus, has reported a trend of increased calls over Christmas Week (25th Dec – 1st Jan) and anticipates that it could receive approximately 50 calls per day over this period this year.
Emma Mitchell, DSA Helpline Coordinator said:
“While the festive period can be one of joy and celebration with loved ones, for some it becomes a time of heightened anxiety and risk of abuse. We have seen annual increases in calls to the Helpline during Christmas Week, and while it is positive that people are reaching out for support it is of course worrying that they are in a position to need to.
“From Christmas Day 2022 to New Years Day 2023 we noted a 29% increase in calls compared to the same period in the previous year [i]. This increase was particularly evident during the evening and throughout the night.”
In January 2023, the PSNI reported a total of 3,604 domestic abuse calls made over the Christmas period. [ii]
Emma concluded, “Behind each number is a person who, statistics show, experiences up to 35 incidents of abuse before seeking help. It’s important to remember that abuse isn’t just physical, anyone can experience it and it can also happen outside of the domestic setting.
“Our team stand ready to take calls each and every day of the year. We encourage those impacted by domestic and sexual abuse and abusive relationships to reach out for support from our team.
The Domestic and Sexual Abuse Helpline, hosted by Nexus, operates 24/7 and can be reached on 0808 802 1414. Support is also available via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and online at dsahelpline.org to ‘Live Chat’ with an advisor. If you are in immediate danger, please call the Police Service of Northern Ireland on 999.
Notes to Editors
- The DSA Helpline is hosted by Nexus on behalf of the Department of Health, Department of Justice and Department for Communities.
- Nexus is Northern Ireland’s leading charity supporting people impacted by sexual abuse and abusive relationships.
- If you need advice or support, call the 24hr Domestic and Sexual Abuse Helpline on 0808 802 1414, it is available 24/7 for any individual impacted by domestic or sexual abuse, either directly or indirectly. Webchat and email services are also available on dsahelpline.org and email@example.com.
[i] 25th Dec 2021 – 1st Jan 2022: 270 calls | 25th Dec 2022 – 1st Jan 2023: 356 calls