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Domestic Abuse and Injunctions
The Government defines domestic abuse as: "Any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality."
If you have been the victim of domestic abuse then you may need to seek protection from the Court for a Non Molestation Order and/or an Occupation Order. In the first instance, you should report any domestic abuse to the police as they may be able to deal with the offence by way of criminal proceedings and you may be protected by bail conditions or the perpetrator may be remanded or even convicted.
It is important to remember that domestic abuse may not only be physical abuse but may include verbal or mental abuse and can also include controlling and coercive behaviour.
There are two main types of protection that you can seek from the court:
- You can apply for a non-molestation order (commonly referred to as an injunction) which will protect you personally and can extend to cover your children if necessary. This order can specify that the other person is not to harass or intimidate you, make threats towards you, contact you in any way or specify that they are not to come near to your property.
- You can apply for an occupation order. This type of order sets out who can live in a property, what rights you have to a property and can enforce property rights. If you need to remain in the property it could exclude the other person or set out restrictions on how you both live in the property if that has to be the short term case.
Please call us to discuss legal aid for these types of matters and whether you are able to apply for these orders. If your matter is urgent then please contact the Police in the first instance and then contact our Family Solicitors for advice about your protection.
Citizens Advice - Organisations which give information and advice for both Women and Men
Gov.UK - Report Domestic Abuse
The Law Society - Legal Aid advice
Government Support - Enhanced legal aid support announced on 21 April 2020