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Domestic Abuse

Our team is very experienced in dealing with issues of domestic abuse and domestic violence and we have a working relationship with a number of local Domestic Abuse support organisations.

Domestic abuse does not only take the form of physical violence, and is not only directed towards women. The government provides a wide definition of domestic abuse, as follows:

“Any incident, or pattern of incidents, of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (whether psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between individuals who are associated with each other”.

We understand that everyone has different levels of tolerance and that there are many reasons why you may delay seeking help or advice if you are suffering domestic abuse. We are able to offer advice as to the options available to you, so that you may consider what best suits your circumstances. We appreciate that you may need to take other issues into consideration, such as arrangements for your children, housing and financial concerns. We can offer holistic advice and assistance tailored to take all of your concerns into account. We also understand you may simply want some advice. You are not committed to taking any particular action unless you instruct us to do so.

Depending on the circumstances of your case, it may be most appropriate for us to write what is known as a Warning Letter to your (former) partner initially, setting out clearly the behaviour or conduct that will not be tolerated further, or it may be that you require more immediate protection, in the form of a family law injunction. We can offer advice as to the best way forward.

An injunction is a court order which prohibits someone from carrying on certain specified conduct. An injunction can be obtained on an emergency basis, and if necessary, on the same day that you first consult with us. There are 2 different types of injunction orders available for your protection from domestic abuse:

 

  1. Non-Molestation Order – this court order prohibits someone from harassing, molesting, intimidating, using or threatening violence against you, and from instructing or encouraging anyone else to do so on their behalf. Breach of a non-molestation order is a criminal offence.

 

  1. Occupation Order – this is a court order which can regulate the occupation of a home, and can be made to exclude someone, and/or to prevent their return or approach within a certain distance, either permanently or temporarily.

 

Notwithstanding the recent changes to the availability of Legal Aid for family cases, Legal Aid is still available to cover the above actions and can also cover other family law situations, such as divorce, financial disputes or children, where the presence of domestic abuse is evidenced in the form of an injunction, or other types of intervention.

John Stebbing is a Resolution Accredited Specialist in the area of Domestic Abuse.

If you require advice or assistance relating to the above then please contact the Family Department on 01323 644222 or jsau@stephenrimmer.com