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Family Law

Domestic Abuse

If you or your children have experienced domestic abuse by your partner, then we can help you. 

Domestic abuse can take many forms such as physical, sexual, emotional or psychological abuse. It can affect anyone regardless of sex, race, ethnic or religious group, disability or lifestyle. Whatever form of abuse you have experienced, we are here to support you and to help you to move forwards.

 

What counts as a criminal offence?

If your partner has been violent towards you or your children, this is a criminal offence and you can report the violence to the police and press charges. You can also pursue a civil remedy through the family courts by applying for an Injunction Order (sometimes known as a Non-Molestation Order or Occupation Order). It’s a criminal offence to breach a Non-Molestation Order and anybody ignoring an Order made against them will also be committing a criminal offence.

The courts can also help you to stop that person intimidating and harassing you, and under some circumstances, the courts can order that person to move out of your home. Any children that live with you can also be protected.

 

Can I still get help during Coronavirus?

The measures implemented across the country due to Coronavirus have caused increased anxiety for those currently suffering, or at risk of suffering, from domestic abuse.

There is increased concern among professionals that those suffering from domestic abuse may now feel even more isolated and unable to seek out help. The situation may be particularly frightening for those people that continue to live under the same roof as their abuser and restrictions on people leaving their homes may result in an increase in domestic abuse incidents.

Help is out there and many domestic abuse charities are continuing to operate remotely in order to support those at risk. Whilst Government advice is to stay at home, anyone who is at risk of, or experiencing, domestic abuse, can leave their home to seek refuge.

Government Guidance

 

What should I do if I feel at risk?

If you are in immediate danger call the police on 999. The police are alert to the potential for increase in domestic abuse resulting from current restrictions and will respond to emergency calls. If you are in danger and unable to talk on the phone then call 999 and press 55. This will allow the call to be transferred to the relevant police force in your area who will be able to respond without you having to speak.

It may be possible to secure protective orders through the family court. A Non-Molestation Order can be obtained to protect you from further abuse and it may also be possible to secure an Occupation Order requiring your abuser to leave the family home. The courts remain open and able to make these orders to protect those at risk of domestic abuse.

 

Can court hearings still go ahead to secure protective orders?

The courts are working to ensure that urgent and important hearings go ahead and this includes any hearing for a protective injunction. These hearings are currently being conducted by telephone or video link avoiding the need for court attendance.

 

How our Solicitors can help you

Tozers is very experienced in providing legal services to victims of domestic abuse. We support anyone who has suffered domestic abuse at the hands of controlling, coercive and/or abusive partners. Sarah Miller and Chlöe Harvey, based at our Newton Abbot office, are specialists and run our Domestic Abuse Response Team (DART). If you or someone you know has suffered abuse in a domestic environment, please contact us to discuss your situation with complete confidence.

 

Costs

Depending on your situation, you may be eligible for Legal Aid. We can work out whether you will be eligible or if not, provide an estimate of our fees.

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