A timely article from our colleague who discusses how to protect yourself or a loved one from domestic abuse – and of course particularly in light of the test of the national emergency alert system at 3.00pm on Sunday 23rd April we strongly advise if you, or someone you know, is suffering domestic abuse and hiding a mobile phone to protect personal safety, that phone will need to be switched off at 3pm on Sunday 23rd to avoid discovery. Remember to switch the phone back on afterwards.
What is domestic abuse?
Domestic abuse is behaviour that consists of any of the following:-
- physical or sexual abuse;
- violent or threatening behaviour;
- controlling or coercive behaviour;
- economic abuse; and/or
- psychological, emotional or other abuse;
between two people who are over the age of 16 and in a personal relationship.
It can include harassment, stalking, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, ‘honour-based’ abuse and trafficking.
If a child sees or hears domestic abuse happening to a family member, this is also domestic abuse. However, if they experience abuse directly, this is child abuse.
What can you do to protect yourself, or a loved one, from domestic abuse?
If you, or someone you know, may be experiencing domestic abuse, you should consider:
- finding somewhere safe to stay;
- discussing the situation with a trusted neighbour, friend or family member;
- giving an extra set of keys to your home, copies of important documents, spare clothes and some money to that trusted person, in case you need to leave home quickly;
- always having a mobile phone and some change on hand to make emergency calls*;
- reporting the domestic abuse to the police;
- getting a Court Order to prevent the abuse, and/or protect you in your home; and
- getting help from a domestic abuse charity.
Always call the Police (999) if you or someone else may be in immediate danger.
What legal options do you have?
If you are suffering from domestic abuse, it is possible to apply to the Family Court for an injunction to help protect you. There are two types of injunctions that we can help you apply for:
- Non-Molestation Order – to prohibit your partner or spouse from using or threatening violence against you or your children, or intimidating, harassing or pestering you;
- Occupation Order – to set out who can live in the family home (or certain parts of it) and can also restrict someone from entering the area surrounding a home.
There are certain rules as to who can apply for these types of orders, procedures to follow and the Court takes certain factors into account when deciding whether to award them.
We can advise and help you decide which is the best course of action for you.
Rayden Solicitors offer expert advice on domestic abuse and fixed fee consultations to discuss your situation. For a confidential conversation, please do not hesitate to contact us.