Domestic violence packs a bigger punch

Solicitors in Belfast and Northern Ireland have to deal with more cases of domestic violence than ever - and the problem is becoming so large that increasing numbers of women are being left with nowhere to turn.

According to a report in the Belfast Telegraph, solicitors in Northern Ireland have seen a fifth more clients who have been left homeless because of domestic violence over the past five years.

Police in Northern Ireland respond to reports of domestic violence every four minutes and new statistics from the Housing Executive reveal that 645 people had to be taken into emergency accommodation last year.

Noelle Collins, team leader at the Women's Aid refuge, told the Belfast Telegraph: "Most women come to refuges in crisis. You can have anything from grievous bodily harm, women being hospitalised and scarred, right down to emotional and sexual abuse.

"It is a big social problem and the cost is £180 million per year in terms of housing, the health service and time off work.

"It is quite a big problem, but until we start educating children that this isn't acceptable and our mindset changes it will be difficult to solve."

Solicitors in Northern Ireland have seen the number of domestic violence clients increase, after the police say more women are coming forward.

The police saw 23,456 domestic incidents reported last year, which is 397 more than the previous year.

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