Moving on from Domestic Violence
Official crime figures reveal that domestic abuse accounts for 16% of all violent crime. 25% of women and 16% of men are affected by domestic violence at some point in their life. Domestic abuse happens when one person hurts another in the same family, married or unmarried, with or without children, divorced or separated.
There are four main types of domestic violence – physical, sexual, emotional and financial. The abuse is delivered as a repeated pattern of behaviour which may get worse over a prolonged period of time. Being a victim, or witnessing any type of abuse can have long-term emotional and psychological effects, so it is important to seek support and advice if you feel you are at risk, or are a victim of domestic abuse .
What are the legal rights for domestic abuse victims?
There is no specific offence of ‘domestic violence’ under criminal law but many forms of domestic violence are crimes such as assault, false imprisonment, criminal damage, harassment, attempted murder and rape.
When the police are not involved but domestic violence or abuse still exists, then there are steps which can be taken under Civil Law to afford the victim some protection.
Applications can be made to Court for Non-Molestation orders. These are Orders made by the Court preventing the perpetrator from contacting or coming into contact with the victim. If the Order is ignored then the Order will include a Power of Arrest, which can be enforced.
Non-Molestation Orders can be obtained very quickly and without notice to the other party. At Watson Thomas, we can have a Non-Molestation Order in place within a few hours of you first contacting us. In extreme situations, we can obtain a Non-Molestation Order out of hours.
In certain situations, where a victim is at risk, an Occupation Order can also be applied for. This prevents the perpetrator from returning to the jointly owned property. We will advise you as to whether it is possible to obtain an Occupation Order when you contact us.
Watson Thomas Solicitors are experts in family law who offer a compassionate and professional service that will help you to take positive steps so you can start to move on from a life of domestic abuse. For a free initial consultation, please call us on 01252 622422 or visit www.watson-thomas.co.uk for further information on legal services.