The Domestic and Sexual Abuse (DSA) helpline, hosted by Nexus, has seen a 50% increase in calls and a 28% increase in webchats and emails between 1st – 20th December 2022 and the same period last year.[i] It is expecting further increases in the week between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
Nichola Greene, Head of the DSA Helpline said:
“While Christmas is a joyful time of year for many, unfortunately for some it is a time of fear and worry when circumstances mean instances of domestic and sexual abuse increase.
“In the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day in 2021, we seen a 12% annual increase in calls and a 29% increase in webchats and emails, this was particularly evident during the evening and at night.
“Our dedicated Helpline team are standing ready for the expected surge next week.”
The helpline is also readying itself to refer individuals and families to refuge in January following the Christmas break.
Nichola concluded: “It is important to be able to reach out for help if you experience domestic or sexual abuse. No one should be living in fear or have to experience abuse at the hands of others. There is never an excuse abusive behaviour.”
The Domestic and Sexual Abuse helpline is available 24/7 on 0808 802 1414, email firstname.lastname@example.org or online on dsahelpline.org where you can ‘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 in supporting people affected by sexual trauma. From April 2019, Nexus also manage the 24 Hour Domestic and Sexual Abuse Helpline, which is funded by the Department of Health, Department of Justice and the Department for Communities. The purpose of the Helpline is to offer support, advice and referral for any victim of domestic and sexual abuse in Northern Ireland. The Helpline also offers support and advice to those concerned about victims, those with concerns as to whether abuse is occurring and to professionals.
[i] 1st – 20th December 2021:517 calls and 951 Webchats and Emails
1st – 20th December 2022: 775 calls and 1221 Webchats and Emails