Domestic violence or abuse can include a number of behaviours that are damaging to one or more members of the family. Harassment, beatings, sexual abuse, psychological or emotional abuse as well as financial abuse and forced marriages can all fall under this definition. Victims are often reticent in asking for help because they fear the repercussions of their actions or their cry for aid. However, it is highly recommended to seek specialized legal aid as soon as you are able to do so.
Our solicitors who specialize in family law on domestic violence can provide complete assistance to those who have suffered abuse or violence as well as for their children.
Our London divorce lawyer can assist you with an initial legal consultation if you are subject to domestic violence. Discussing your options with an expert is always advisable and we encourage all victims to seek out counsel as soon as possible and in a safe manner. Do reach out to our lawyer if you have any questions about your rights or how to benefit from protection.
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Domestic violence and domestic abuse in the UK
Domestic violence is a criminal offence, and the legally accepted definition includes multiple forms of abuse, namely: physical, psychological, emotional, sexual and financial. Anyone can be a victim, irrespective of gender, age, ethnicity, socio-economic status or background. It is important to identify the signs and the behaviours and to recognize that there is a problem and you can seek support and even report the event. The family law on domestic violence and abuse allows the victim to report to the police and those who are in immediate danger in the UK can call a special line and listed to the instructions of the operator.
Victims of domestic abuse
If you, your children or someone you know are victims of domestic violence or abuse, you do need to seek assistance and a safe place to relocate. Our team of solicitors can provide adequate legal assistance under the family law on domestic violence, however, you are the one who needs to take the first step and ask for specialized assistance.
If you are affected by abusive behaviour in a relationship, you may want to:
- find somewhere else to stay: it is important to find a safe place to relocate or to ask the abusive individual to leave your joint home;
- call the police: you can report the violence to the police and they have the power to issue a caution to the perpetrator, charge or arrest the individual; our solicitors who specialize in family law on domestic violence remind you that in an emergency in the UK you can call 999, a dedicated number;
- ask for help: you can call the Women’s Aid as well as other advice lines (such as those for men);
- commence legal action or get legal protection: you can ask the court to issue an order that will stop your partner from threatening or harming you; you can also get an order through which the said partner is ordered to leave the house.
The Family Law Act
According to the Family Law Act 1996, there are two types of orders that protect victims of domestic violence:
- non-molestation order: for those who are the victims of abuse, it stops the abuser from being able to continue the behaviour, for example, the order can prohibit contact;
- occupation order: prohibits the offender from continuing to live in the same house as the victim; these are often temporary orders.
Our team of family law on domestic violence solicitors can help you apply to the court for special order. Moreover, we can give you more details on the situations in which the police can issue a Domestic Violence Protection Notice and the subsequent steps during which we can help you apply for a magistrates’ court Domestic Violence Protection Order.
Domestic violence statistics in the UK
In the year ending in March 2019, approximately 5.7% of adults in the UK (or around 2.4 million) experienced domestic abuse. Other data from the Crime Survey for England and Wales shows the following:
- total: 1,316,800 domestic abuse-related incidents and crimes were recorded by the police;
- crimes: out of the total, 746,219 were domestic abuse-related crimes, signalling a 24% increase compared to the previous year;
- non-sexual abuse: 5.2% of the victims aged 16 to 74 who were subjected to non-sexual domestic abuse were victims once or more in the last year;
- sexual abuse: 4.4% of the victims younger than 16 were subjected to domestic sexual assault (including attempts) once or more;
- overall: the percentage of individuals who were victims once or more fall into the category “since the age of 16”; this applies to multiple types of domestic, partner, or family abuse, both sexual and non-sexual.
Please contact us as soon if you are able if you or someone you know are domestic abuse victims. Our team specializing in family law on domestic violence can review your case as soon as possible and help guide you through the next steps.