Domestic abuse is not defined in law in England and Wales and cases are decided on evidence presented to the Court. There are several explanations for domestic violence or abuse, many of which are myths, propagated by abusers, and also, the majority of the time, by men and women who are in denial about being abused. Abuse is not just hitting, or forced intercourse; rape. Domestic violence is characterised by hundreds of situations in which one individual harms another while they are in a relationship, regardless of whether or not the couple are married or live together. This can be verbal or emotional abuse, such as shouting at you or your children, manipulation, being controlled or often humiliated by your partner or it can be physical or sexual abuse, if one partner hits you or your children, or forces sex on you, and/or touches your children inappropriately. Domestic abuse may be a single act or a number of acts forming a pattern of behaviour. If there is violence or the threat of violence, whether physical or mental, there are ways to protect you and your family.
We are able to provide advice and support in your application for a Non Molestation Injunction and/or Occupation Order.
These orders forbid any violent partner from using or threatening violence against you and your child. In particular by obtaining an Occupation Order a violent partner could be excluded from your home. If a future breach takes place this Order may be enforced by the Court by way of Committal proceedings.
We are also able to assist people who have been accused of harassing another person. If you have received a warning letter from another firm of solicitors or if you have been served with Court papers then a Solicitor from our team can advise and assist you. If you have been ordered to attend Court, someone from our team will be able to represent you at Court. We believe a victim’s safety is paramount and we will give you the options available to ensure that safety, but it will be the victim’s decision about what course of action they wish to take.
The legal protection that can be offered to you if you are a victim.
In some cases, it is appropriate to send a letter to the perpetrator, recording the incident(s) and demanding a stop to the abuse. The perpetrator should also be informed about what further action may be taken if the behaviour does not stop. In other cases, the victim may apply for legal protection from the perpetrator by way of an injunction.
Can I protect my children?
If your children have been the victim of abuse, then the court can make an order protecting the children as well as yourself.
What types of protective orders are available?
- Non-molestation order to prevent the perpetrator from using or threatening violence, harassing, intimidating, pestering or causing any other person to do the same.
- Occupation order to prevent the perpetrator from coming to a particular address or within a certain area around the address.
- Power of arrest attached to an occupation order. This effectively gives the police the authority to arrest someone who breaches an occupation order.
- An undertaking which is a promise to the Court (not the victim) which if breached can be treated as contempt of court, punishable by a term of imprisonment.
What if the perpetrator breaches the order, what should I do?
You must report the breach of any order immediately to the police, who will attempt to arrest the perpetrator and bring him/her before the court to be sent to prison. The victim must also inform the solicitor of the breach so that they can prepare a committal application.
If the perpetrator denies the breach, the matter will be listed for a contested hearing. If a breach of order is found, the perpetrator will be liable for a term of imprisonment of up to two years.
We can help you in obtaining an injunction against domestic violence so why not give us a call 0208 767 9090 to have a confidential chat with us.