Family Law

Domestic Violence

Experiencing domestic violence is a deeply troubling situation, whether it has been officially reported to law enforcement or involves enduring abuse, threats, or verbal harassment from a current or former partner. In such instances, seeking a non-molestation order can be a critical step towards ensuring your safety.

Domestic Abuse and Injunctions

Domestic Abuse and Injunctions

Confronting domestic abuse demands immediate and decisive legal action to halt the cycle of harm and protect your well-being. Recognising the various manifestations of domestic abuse is vital, encompassing:

  • Physical violence
  • Psychological abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Emotional maltreatment
  • Economic and financial manipulation
  • Coercive control

For those finding themselves in the throes of domestic abuse, pursuing a non-molestation order is a viable measure to secure personal safety and the welfare of any dependents.

At Legal Pathway Solicitors, our priority is your security and peace of mind. We dedicate ourselves to guiding you through the legal process, offering our expertise to help you understand your options and the potential benefits of court-issued injunctions in your unique situation. Your safety and well-being are at the forefront of our mission.

Domestic Abuse Act/bill UK (2021-2022)

Understanding the UK Domestic Abuse Legislation and Its Implications for Victims

Enacted in July 2020, the Domestic Abuse Legislation, also known as the Domestic Abuse Act 2021, will be operational throughout the UK in the years 2021 and 2022.

This crucial piece of legislation aims to hold abusers accountable and extend protection to individuals impacted by domestic abuse. It introduces several key measures within family law courts, including:

  • The implementation of Domestic Abuse Protection Orders and Notices.
  • Mandating local authorities in England to ensure safe housing for abuse victims and their children.
  • Broadening the definition of domestic abuse beyond physical violence to encompass emotional, financial, coercive, or controlling behaviours.
  • In legal proceedings across England and Wales, the act establishes a presumption in favour of special measures for domestic abuse victims, enhancing their support during trials.
  • Prohibiting direct cross-examination by abusers of their victims in family and civil courts, with court-appointed legal representatives taking over this role.
  • Introducing the offence of non-fatal strangulation or suffocation.
  • Expanding the jurisdiction of UK criminal courts to cover violent and sexual offences more comprehensively.
  • Implementing a domestic abuse offender strategy.
  • Clarifying the legal stance that consent cannot be given for the infliction of grievous harm or death.
  • Ensuring priority homelessness assistance for victims rendered homeless due to domestic abuse.
  • The introduction of polygraph testing as a post-custody licence condition for offenders.
  • Facilitating victims to obtain a new secure tenancy via an occupation order, which also restricts the offender’s access to the victim’s residence.
  • Eliminating fees charged by healthcare professionals for legal aid application letters for abuse victims.

Additionally, the legislation underscores the court’s responsibility to support victims effectively by:

  • Allowing the use of special measures for victims whose court participation or evidence provision is hindered by vulnerability factors.
  • Requiring the court to consider broader aspects of vulnerability, such as age, mental health issues, or other relevant factors, in their proceedings.

This legislative framework represents a comprehensive approach to addressing and mitigating the impact of domestic abuse in the UK, offering a broad spectrum of protections and support for victims.

Seeking Police Assistance in Cases of Domestic Violence and Abuse

In situations of domestic violence or abuse, reaching out to the police is a critical step for your safety and legal protection.

The police can offer support through various means, including:

  • Promptly responding to emergency calls to provide immediate help.
  • Recording statements from you and any witnesses present.
  • Collecting proof of abuse, which could involve photographs, medical documentation, or CCTV recordings.
  • Detaining the abuser based on sufficient evidence or reasonable suspicion.
  • Connecting you with additional support resources, like domestic abuse helplines, safe shelters, or counselling services.
  • Initiating a Domestic Violence Protection Notice (DVPN) or Order (DVPO) to prohibit the abuser from making contact with you, with a possible duration of up to 28 days.

 Legal Pathway Solicitors are prepared to bridge communication with law enforcement and offer guidance on navigating these interactions effectively. We can also assist in securing copies of police reports or evidence critical for your legal proceedings.

Obtain Police Reports

 

Police reports serve as critical documents detailing the specifics of crimes or incidents. They play a vital role in legal proceedings by offering concrete evidence of the abuse experienced, along with its effects on you and your children. Additionally, these reports are instrumental in bolstering applications for protective measures such as Non-Molestation Orders, Occupation Orders, or Child Arrangement Orders, all aimed at safeguarding you and your children from further abuse.

Allow us to facilitate acquiring these police reports for you and provide expert advice on their strategic use in court. Furthermore, we are here to assist in addressing any inaccuracies or gaps in the reports and requesting supplementary information to strengthen your case.

Domestic Violence Protection Orders

 

Legal Pathway Solicitors is committed to safeguarding individuals from domestic violence through a range of legal protections designed to prevent further abuse and threats. Here’s an overview of the protective orders available:

Emergency Injunctions: Issued without the abuser’s knowledge by a civil court, these orders are critical in preventing additional harm.

Types of Emergency Injunctions:

  • Non-Molestation Order: Designed to stop harassment, threats, or violence towards the victim and/or their children, supported by evidence such as injury photos. These orders are customised to protect the victim and children, prohibiting any form of communication with the abuser or their allies. Violation of this order, which typically lasts 6-12 months, leads to arrest. Emergency grants are followed by a hearing for the abuser to respond.
  • Occupation Order: Establishes who can live in the family home, potentially removing the abuser. Valid for 6-12 months, this order may include powers of arrest under certain conditions.
  • Prohibited Steps Order: A provision under the Children Act 1989, it stops individuals with parental responsibilities from taking the child(ren) away from the applicant, especially after a direct threat or attempt. Issued when it aligns with the child’s best interest, the court may alternatively or additionally implement a child arrangement order.

Enforcement and Compliance

These orders are enforceable upon delivery to the abuser and should be communicated to local police and possibly schools, landlords, or mortgage companies to ensure adherence. They cover various relationships, including intimate and familial connections.

Additional Protection:

  • Domestic Violence Protection Notice (DVPN): A temporary measure by the police against an abuser posing an ongoing risk, effective for 48 hours. It prohibits contact and cohabitation, extendable up to 28 days as a Domestic Violence Protection Order (DVPO), offering survivors a window to evaluate their next steps.
  • Restraining Order: Issued by a criminal court post-criminal proceedings to prevent further violence or harassment. It remains effective for a set term or until further notice, with violations constituting a criminal offence.

Legal Pathway Solicitors is here to guide you through the process of obtaining and enforcing these protective measures, ensuring your safety and legal rights are prioritised.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about agreements and family law.

What Steps Can I Take If I'm Experiencing Domestic Violence in My Relationship?

Immediate Safety and Legal Options

If you are encountering domestic violence or threats within your relationship, it is always necessary to prioritise your safety. In urgent situations, please call 999 for immediate assistance.

For longer-term protection, the family court offers legal solutions:

  • Occupation Orders: These orders determine who can reside in your home, potentially excluding the abuser to ensure your safety.
  • Non-Molestation Orders: This type of order is designed to prevent someone from harassing, intimidating, or threatening you and your family. Breaching a non-molestation order is considered a criminal offence.

These measures are designed to protect you and your family, providing a layer of security as you navigate through the legal process.

Support and Assistance

The journey through relationship violence can be incredibly challenging, but you don’t have to go through it alone. At Legal Pathway Solicitors, we are committed to guiding you through the legal protections available.

For additional support, consider these resources:

  • Refuge: Offers advice and support for those facing domestic violence. (Helpline: 0808 2000 247)
  • National Domestic Abuse Helpline: Provides confidential help and information. (Helpline: 0808 2000 247)
  • Women’s Aid: Tailored support specifically for women experiencing domestic abuse. (Helpline: 0808 2000 247)
  • ManKind: Dedicated assistance for men facing abusive situations. (Helpline: 01823 334 244)

Remember, you are not alone in this. Legal Pathway Solicitors are here to support you with your legal needs concerning domestic violence. 

We offer a free initial consultation for all domestic violence cases, ensuring complete confidentiality. Consultations can be conducted remotely via phone or video call, according to your preference.

Understanding the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (Clare’s Law)

Suppose you have concerns that your current, former, or potential partner may have a history of domestic violence. In that case, you can seek clarity under the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, also known as “Clare’s Law.”

This legislation provides a “right to ask,” allowing you to inquire about any previous convictions or incidents of domestic abuse associated with the individual in question. If it’s deemed proportionate, necessary, and legitimate, the police are authorised to share any pertinent information they have.

Additionally, it’s possible to apply for this disclosure not just for yourself but also on behalf of family members or friends you believe might be at risk of domestic abuse.

Support services and agencies are available to facilitate these inquiries, ensuring you can access this crucial information with the appropriate guidance and support.

Securing Protection through Legal Orders

If you or your child are experiencing domestic abuse from any of the following:

  • A current or former partner
  • A family member
  • Someone you currently or previously lived with, including an ex-spouse

you have legal avenues available for protection and safety.

Types of Orders:

  • Occupation Order: This is suitable if you are seeking safe accommodation or refuge. It determines who can live in the family home, potentially excluding the abuser to protect you and your child.
  • Non-Molestation Order: If you’re seeking protection from threats, harassment, intimidation, or any form of pestering, this order is designed to prevent such behaviours. Violating a non-molestation order can result in up to 5 years of imprisonment.

Victims of domestic abuse may be eligible for legal aid to assist with the application process in family and children’s court.

Important Considerations:

  • Serving the Order: It’s crucial to consider how the order will be communicated to the abuser (the respondent). If you prefer not to deliver the notice directly, court staff can assist. The process officially begins once the respondent has been served with the order.
  • Informing the Police: Ensure that a copy of the order is delivered to the local police station, accompanied by a statement confirming that the order has been served to the abuser. This step is vital for enforcement.
  • Notifying Landlords or Mortgage Holders: If an occupation order is issued, it’s also necessary to inform the mortgage provider or landlord of any shared or related property about the order.

These protective orders are essential tools in safeguarding you and your child from further abuse, providing a legal means to enhance your security and peace of mind.

Eligibility for Applying for an Occupation Order

An Occupation Order is designed to regulate who can live in the family home to protect individuals from domestic abuse. You may be eligible to apply for this order under several circumstances:

If you share ownership or a tenancy agreement of the family home or property as part of marital assets.

If you have ‘home rights,’ which grant you the entitlement to live in the dwelling house, particularly if it is or was also occupied by your spouse who is accused of domestic abuse.

If the residential property, or ‘dwelling house,’ is or has been a shared home with another person your spouse is associated with or was intended to be shared, granting property rights.

If you own or rent a home together with your spouse, civil partner, cohabitant, family member, or someone you have an intimate relationship with who is also the parent of your child or children.

Even if you do not own or rent the property but are married to or cohabitating with someone who has ownership or tenancy rights.

In essence, if you share marital assets with your current or former partner, you are entitled to apply for an occupation order. This legal measure aims to ensure your safety and that of your children, if any, by securing safe accommodation away from the threat of domestic abuse.

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belinda kuagbelabelinda kuagbela
22:59 15 Apr 24
syed dibaSyed Diba
12:53 07 Feb 24
Romana Kousar is a experienced solicitor who helped me alot and guided me for my immigration matter. I will still be facing difficulties if i did not have her as my lawyer. I recommend everyone to come to her.
farhana rahmanFarhana Rahman
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The staff were very helpful in arranging a quick advice appointment. On arrival they were friendly and Romana reviewed our case thoroughly, provided us with vaulable advice and many options. We felt relieved that we had a positive case as we were stressing over a sponsorship visa. Highly recommend Legal pathway solicitors as they are very helpful and professional.
rabia aliRabia Ali
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I am so happy today as I got good news for my case! First I did not know what to do and things were difficult for me. I had been to many lawyers. Then finally met a trustworthy solicitor Romana Kousar who really helped me so much. I can not thank her enough for what she has done for me. I will always recommend her.
faheem ghaznaviFaheem Ghaznavi
10:15 22 Jul 23
All i want to say is how knowledgable and helpful person Romana is. She handled my file and always gave me good advice. She always listened to my problems. I was in a messy situation. I am so glad someone recommended me to her. Well done Romana keep doing hard work.
sumera ahmadSumera Ahmad
09:16 22 Jul 23
Excellent Solicitor Romana. We got high standard care on our court case. She helped me win in court. She made communication easy and everything was clear for me.
belinda kuagbelabelinda kuagbela
22:59 15 Apr 24
syed dibaSyed Diba
12:53 07 Feb 24
Romana Kousar is a experienced solicitor who helped me alot and guided me for my immigration matter. I will still be facing difficulties if i did not have her as my lawyer. I recommend everyone to come to her.
farhana rahmanFarhana Rahman
18:07 06 Feb 24
The staff were very helpful in arranging a quick advice appointment. On arrival they were friendly and Romana reviewed our case thoroughly, provided us with vaulable advice and many options. We felt relieved that we had a positive case as we were stressing over a sponsorship visa. Highly recommend Legal pathway solicitors as they are very helpful and professional.
rabia aliRabia Ali
13:34 16 Aug 23
I am so happy today as I got good news for my case! First I did not know what to do and things were difficult for me. I had been to many lawyers. Then finally met a trustworthy solicitor Romana Kousar who really helped me so much. I can not thank her enough for what she has done for me. I will always recommend her.
faheem ghaznaviFaheem Ghaznavi
10:15 22 Jul 23
All i want to say is how knowledgable and helpful person Romana is. She handled my file and always gave me good advice. She always listened to my problems. I was in a messy situation. I am so glad someone recommended me to her. Well done Romana keep doing hard work.
sumera ahmadSumera Ahmad
09:16 22 Jul 23
Excellent Solicitor Romana. We got high standard care on our court case. She helped me win in court. She made communication easy and everything was clear for me.
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