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Crime figures published in 2014 revealed that 1.1 million women and 720,000 men were victims of some kind of domestic abuse in 2013.

The definition of domestic violence and abuse is: “any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality. The abuse can encompass but is not limited to psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional.”

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What happens after I report abuse?

In situations of domestic abuse, there may be police involvement and proceedings in the criminal courts may deal with the offence. However, if the criminal courts cannot offer protection (via bail conditions, for example), the civil courts can act very quickly. The priority is to ensure everyone’s safety — including any children.

How can we help?

Our specialist team of domestic abuse solicitors can make applications to the civil court for the necessary orders. These usually fall into two main categories:

Non-molestation Orders

These protect the applicant and children. They cover physical molestation and any type of violence, threats of violence, harassment or pestering. When deciding whether to make a non-molestation order, the court must look at all the circumstances. This includes the health, safety and well-being of the applicant and any children.

Occupation Orders

These are tough orders and are not made lightly. They can exclude the other party from certain areas inside a home, the home itself, or the surrounding area of the property.

The court takes all the circumstances into account. This includes the access to housing of both parties, and their children.

The court has to decide whether it believes that the excluded person would suffer more, or if the applicant or a child is more likely to suffer because of the person’s inclusion. If the latter is true, the court passes the order.

What if my situation is urgent?

In very urgent situations, you can apply for an order without giving any notice to the other person. They are then given the opportunity to attend court a few days later to put their case forward.

If your case is less urgent, it’s usual to try and reach an agreement with the other person if possible. This can often be done by giving undertakings (solemn and binding promises to the court) to regulate behaviour.

What happens if the order is breached?

If an order or undertaking is breached, it can lead to imprisonment.

How do I start the process?

Domestic abuse is a very serious issue and the matter must be dealt with sensitively and quickly. If you need a solicitor to advise you sensitively and knowledgeably through domestic abuse law, our expert team has the understanding and experience you need to obtain justice.

Speak to an expert

Our lawyers specialise in all aspects of family law and can support you by providing practical yet sensitive advice on domestic abuse in order to help you achieve the outcome you seek. Please get in touch today to discuss your case by completing our enquiry form below.

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Key Contacts

Simon Magner Mawdsley

Simon Magner Mawdsley

Partner | Head of Family Law

Described by clients as "an excellent listener, open and engaging", "exceptional", "reassuring" and "insightful", Simon acts for a range of clients in all aspects of relationship breakdowns including divorce, resolution of financial matters, civil partnerships, cohabitation disputes, pre- and post-marital agreements, injunctions, and children matters.

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Lorraine Saunders

Lorraine Saunders

Family Law Partner

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Richard Barge

Richard Barge

Family Law Consultant

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