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Moving on from domestic violence

Official crime figures reveal that 30% of women are affected by domestic violence at some point in their life. In the past year, 7% of women and 4% of men have been victims of domestic violence.
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. Whether criminal law can protect victims is dependent upon the particular type of abuse and the circumstances of the violence. Successful prosecution for domestic violence cases is rising and this can be attributed to the development of the Specialist Domestic Violence Court (SDVC) who offer in-depth support to victims. There is an SDVC in North Hampshire.

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.

These organisations will help protect you and your children from further abuse:

National Domestic Violence Helpline – 0808 2000247


By Rachel Watson, Watson Thomas Solicitors, Fleet Hampshire