SDLP Justice Spokesperson Sinead Bradley MLA has described an increase in domestic abuse incidents and crime as a ‘chilling’ element of lockdown.
The South Down MLA said that for people who feel trapped by an abusive partner, the past few months have been unbearable.
Sinead Bradley MLA said: “The increase in recorded domestic abuse incidents and crimes is absolutely appalling and, in fact, chilling during periods of lockdown. With over 32,000 abuse incidents in the last 12 months, the highest since records began, there are on average more than 88 people every day experiencing some form of torment. It’s gut-wrenching.
“The sad fact is that these figures may not represent the real increase in incidents over lockdown. With people feeling more trapped by an abusive partner or family member, the opportunities to report these horrendous experiences may have fallen. It’s an unimaginable situation to be in.
“I’m glad that over the period of lockdown, the Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon and Justice Minister Naomi Long have worked hard to secure free travel for those fleeing situations of abuse. But clearly more needs to be done to tackle this scourge and to support the victims of abuse.
“I will be raising the matter with the Justice Minister and will work constructively with her to find solutions.”