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Domestic Abuse Solicitors - Domestic Violence

Our dedicated team of specialists solicitors are able to support and help victims of domestic abuse and their children to get the protection that they need from their partners, ex partners or other family members. Our solicitors are accredited by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and Resolution as specialising in providing advice and representation in situations of abuse as well as having many years of experience in this area of work. Speak to our domestic abuse solicitors confidentially on 01616 966 229.

The Family law Act 1996 is the legislation which provides protection for victims of domestic violence and our experienced team of solicitors can help anyone who needs protection, which can be put in place urgently and without the other person knowing if necessary.

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Protection from domestic abuse

There are two types of Court orders and our solicitors will advise about what would give the best protection for the particular situation.

The Court can make one or both of the following orders:

Non-Molestation Order

This restrains someone from using or threatening violence to a person or child, or from molesting them. It can also restrain someone from instructing, encouraging or in any way suggesting that any other person use or threaten violence against a person.

Extra protection is available from the police. If the order is breached it is a criminal offence and the person can be arrested.

Occupation Order

This says who can live in the family home and who might have to leave for a period of time in order to provide protection for someone and their children. The actual terms of the order can be wide ranging. For example, the order can prevent a person from entering the home altogether or prevent them from going into certain areas of the home. The order can also prevent someone who has left the property from approaching the home or coming within a certain distance of it. The Court can make orders to provide protection to accommodate the unique facts of the case.

It does not matter if a person does not own the home in which they live. The Court can support them living in the home by making an order to say that they can remain there.  It does not matter if a person is unable to get back into their home because they have been locked out as the Court can order that they be allowed back to live there.

If the home is rented the Court can transfer the tenancy into someone’s name, even if it is not in their name to begin with.

There might be a situation whereby there is concern about how someone is going to afford to live in the property if their partner leaves.  The Court can require the partner to make specific payments for a period of time, for example to pay the mortgage or the rent.

To provide extra protection, a power of arrest can be added to the order which means that if it is breached the police can arrest without a warrant and bring the person into custody.

How long do orders last?

This depends on the court but experience shows that they can last weeks, months, or for a year and above.

What practical tips are there?

  • Our solicitors will always say that if there is concern for immediate safety that the police should be called. 
  • Report any injuries suffered to the GP or hospital as this is independent evidence of what has been going on and can strengthen the case.
  • Keep a record of relevant events as a reminder of the history of abuse which can support any court application.
  • Keep money available at home and essential items close at hand in the event that there is a need to leave urgently.
  • Have a telephone available to maintain contact to family, friends and emergency services.

Domestic violence FAQs

What is domestic violence?

The government defines domestic violence as ‘any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality’. We know that this abuse occurs across our communities on an only too frequent basis. It is rarely just a one-off incident and is usually a pattern of abusive and controlling behaviour which gets worse over time. 

It is a sad and shocking statistic that a partner is assaulted in their home every six seconds in the UK and one woman is killed every three days. Home Office statistics and research says that domestic violence accounts for between 16-25% of all recorded violent crimes. The police report that on average they receive a call about domestic violence every minute.

Children can also often find themselves the victims as well as their parent. They can become innocently caught in the cross fire and suffer injury, and can suffer harm emotionally because of the worry and fear about what is going on in their home. A recent study by experts from the University of London and the Anna Freud Centre suggests that children living in homes where violence takes place may actually have their brains affected by their home life situation in a similar way to soldiers in combat. There is now evidence that these children are at greater risk of mental health problems including anxiety and depression which may only surface when they are older. 

What are the signs of domestic violence?

It can take many forms and does not necessarily have to include violence.  Abuse ranges from verbal to serious acts of physical violence.

Recognised signs of domestic violence include:

Threats – intimidating, shouting, breaking things in front of a person, threatening violence to someone or the children, threatening a person with objects.

Harassment – following a person, watching someone or having them watched, checking their telephone, reading mails, embarrassing someone in public.

Criticising and verbal abuse – shouting at someone, name calling, verbal threats, accusations, belittling.

Sexual violence – threatening violence, using force, degrading someone intimately.

Physical violence – hitting, punching, biting, pushing, kicking, pinching.

Isolating –  persuading a person not to see or make contact with family and friends, making it difficult for a person at their place of work or with their employers.

Pressurising – threatening to take the children away, threatening to withdraw financial support, threatening to harm themselves or the children, threatening to throw someone out of their home, threatening to report a parent to agencies about care of the children, threatening to given information to family, friends and work colleagues, saying that it is one person’s fault and they made them do it.

Speak to our family law specialists confidentially at any time on 01616 966 229.

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