Domestic abuse can include a wide range of behaviours designed, amongst other things, to hurt, frighten and or intimidate. It can include physical violence and assault as well as verbal and emotional abuse.
Whatever the behaviour presented, you are entitled to protection and the law can assist you in securing that protection.
If you report an incident to the police they will normally investigate matters to firstly establish whether a crime has been committed. If it is established that an offence has been committed then the perpetrator of the offence could face criminal prosecution either through the Magistrates’ or Crown Court depending upon the severity of the offence. Whilst proceedings are in place it may be that certain conditions will be attached to the accused’s bail, if he remains at liberty, so as to specifically prohibit him/her from making contact with you or, for example, from returning to the family home.
Given that the police have a duty to safeguard children, if an incident occurs in the direct or indirect presence of children then, depending upon the seriousness of the incident, the police may be required to contact Social Services to report child protection concerns.
If you consider that you or your family require protection from domestic violence, abuse or harassment then it is essential that you consult with a family lawyer at an early stage who will be able to provide you with detailed specialist advice on the options available to you bearing in mind your own specific circumstances.
There are several legal remedies available to you and it is absolutely essential that you do not suffer in silence.
A solicitor can help you obtain protection via a formal Court Order (injunction), the two most common types of which are:-
Non-Molestation Order – this order tells the perpetrator that they must not use or threaten to use violence against you, or “harass, pester or intimidate you” or any children living with you. Conditions can be imposed into the order and it is intended to stop all forms of unpleasant behaviour such as nuisance or threatening texts or telephone calls.
Occupation Order - is an order which allows one legal owner or tenant of a property to live in the property peacefully without the threat of violence or abuse. An Occupation Order can therefore be used to temporarily exclude the abuser from living in the family home where required.
At Gaynham King & Mellor, our family solicitors have a wealth of experience in dealing with cases involving domestic violence and abuse and are alert to the sensitivity which is required in the handling of such cases.