Family Justice Centre opens in Londonderry as part of fight against domestic abuse

Domestic abuse accounts for a fifth of all crime reported to police in Northern Ireland.

As part of a fight against it, agencies in Londonderry have collaborated to create a one-stop-centre where victims can access support services.

The site, just off Bishop Street in the city, is the first of its kind in the UK.

Victims can come to the centre to access all the practical and specialist services they need.

Marie Brown is the CEO of the Family Justice Centre. She said the opening of the new facility is "a light and a hope" to victims and survivors.

As the system stands, victims end up telling their story on average 27 times before they access key support. Alannah Campbell knows just how crucial that is. She suffered for three years in an abusive relationship. "It's taken me nearly nine years to understand what I went through and to find the words to articulate what happened to me," she told UTV.

"If you don't have immediate access to the help and resources you need that darkness and that pain can be prolonged for a really, really long time," she added. Police receive a call about domestic abuse every 16 minutes. Those behind this centre hope it can save lives.

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