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Family Law

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence can happen in families and couple relationships. It can happen to anyone – male or female, in both same-sex and different-sex relationships. It occurs across ethnic and economic backgrounds and age ranges. If you are experiencing domestic abuse, the first step is to get help. Our solicitors work quickly to understand your unique situation, and your safety is our priority. If you are in immediate danger, we can take swift action and, where necessary, obtain court orders to protect you and your family.

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What are the types of abuse?

There are different types of domestic abuse, but the perpetrator’s aim is always to have power over you.

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The abuser might:

  • Isolate you from your friends and family.
  • Prevent you from spending time with anybody except them.
  • Stop you from going to work.
  • Accuse you of having affairs or flirting with others.
  • Exhibit controlling behaviour such as controlling what you wear, who you see, where you go and what you think.
  • Control your money.
  • Monitor your social media pages and read your letters.
  • Put a GPS locator on your phone, so they know exactly where you are.
  • Constantly try to belittle you.
  • Blame you for their behaviour.
  • Deny that abuse is happening.

This is when someone threatens to hurt you, your children or themselves. They may intimidate you by invading your personal space and following or harassing you. They might threaten to damage your property.

Physical abuse covers all actions that hurt your body. It can involve kicking, hitting, punching, shoving, biting, throwing things at you or holding you down.

If somebody touches you where you do not want to be touched, pressures you into having sex or hurts you during sex, this is abuse.

When somebody forces you to have sex with them against your will, it is rape. It is still rape if they are your partner.

What are the early warning signs of domestic violence?

These are some early warning signs of domestic abuse, but people’s experiences vary.

Are you:

  • Changing your behaviour or ‘walking on eggshells’ because you are terrified of upsetting the person?
  • Becoming more critical of yourself because you feel as though everything you do is wrong?
  • Feeling pressured into doing things you do not want to do?
  • Finding that your freedom and privacy is being restricted because you are being monitored?
  • Feeling guilty if you spend time with other people?
  • Having to ask permission to use your own money?
  • Finding that your money is being spent without your permission?

Whatever form it takes, domestic abuse is unacceptable. No one should ever be made to feel scared or threatened in their own home.

How can a solicitor help?

Our solicitors know that simply walking away from an abusive relationship may not be an option for you, particularly if children are involved. We will listen carefully to you as you talk about your situation. Then we will explain your options and offer you practical advice so you can start to put an end to domestic violence.

There are legal measures we can take to protect you and your family, which include:

A Non-molestation Order and an Occupation Order are injunctions issued by the court. Our solicitors can start injunction proceedings swiftly to protect you and your family from harm.

Are you entitled to legal aid?

Those who suffer domestic violence and cannot afford legal costs may be entitled to legal aid. To be eligible, you need to show evidence that you and/or your family are at risk of harm.

Evidence can come from:

  • Your solicitor, the courts or the police.
  • Social services.
  • MARAC (multi-agency risk assessment conference)
  • A health professional such as a doctor.
  • The manager of a refuge.
  • A representative from a domestic support service.
  • Your employer, lecturer or teacher.
  • Documents such as bank statements to show abuse of your finances.

Whether you are eligible for legal aid or not, our specialist domestic abuse solicitors can advise you about your legal options. It may be that proceedings can be started by the police, which will save you both money and time. We strongly believe that nobody should have to suffer abuse due to financial constraints.

Talk to a domestic violence solicitor

Everybody has the right to live without the threat of domestic violence. If you are living in an abusive environment or you have concerns about somebody in your household, please talk to us. We can work sensitively and quickly to protect you and your family without the knowledge of the perpetrator if necessary.

As well as providing legal advice and putting steps in place to end domestic violence, our solicitors can also put you in touch with organisations that can help you to move forward with your life.

Have any questions or need any help?

Our team of specialist lawyers are experts in their field. Be confident in their advice and decisions to help get the right outcome for you. Contact us today to see how we can help