Domestic abuse can come in many forms, either as a one off incident or recurrent in a person’s life. In any case, victims are left traumatised and feel unsafe in their own homes.
Around 1 in 4 women each year are affected by domestic violence, which leads to, on average, two women being murdered each week. This statistic should be shocking, but for our domestic violence solicitors, it’s all too familiar. At Crisp & Co, our domestic violence solicitors have helped numerous victims to take action against their attackers and ensure that they are protected from any future harm.
The first step is to report the incident. Victims of abuse, either physical or mental, can often feel as though speaking out about the crime will only worsen the situation. However, the earlier you take action, the sooner we can work to prevent it from ever happening again. Our domestic violence solicitors can help by applying for a Non-Molestation Court Order: once in place, your partner will be legally banned from coming near your property, making threats or harassing you or your children. If they breach this order, they will be immediately arrested. We can also assist you in setting up an Occupation Order if your partner refuses to leave your home after the incident has taken place.
Domestic violence can affect people of any gender, age or background and can happen in straight as well as gay relationships. No matter the circumstances, when someone living in your household becomes violent or abusive in any way, you and your family immediately become at risk of harm. If you or someone you know is suffering from domestic abuse, get in touch today. Our dedicated solicitors will be available round the clock to offer support and emergency protection from harm.
What is domestic abuse?
Domestic violence is the abuse that one person inflicts upon another within an intimate relationship. In many cases, one partner will habitually abuse the other to gain control within the relationship. While domestic abuse is generally associated with physical assault, it can also be psychological, sexual, emotional or even financial. For that reason, many victims fail to come forward or even recognise that their partner’s behaviour is abusive and controlling. Domestic violence is rarely a one-off incident, and with time can increase in severity and frequency. This is why it’s essential to seek help at the earliest possible stage.
Why does domestic violence happen?
If you are a victim of domestic abuse, it’s vital for you to understand that you are not at fault. Abusive partners can often lead their victims into believing that they are directly responsible for the abuse they are receiving, resulting in habitual violent acts taking place and going unreported. Domestic violence can happen for a number of reasons, but generally stems from one partner’s desire for control or power over the other. This could be intensified through drugs, alcohol, stress or poor mental health, but these factors are never the sole cause and should not be used to justify their behaviour.
In many cases, abusers become violent or controlling due to feelings of jealousy, low self esteem of fear of abandonment. Rather than attempting to work through these problems, they resort to abusive behaviour. In certain cases of domestic violence between heterosexual couples, the male may feel inadequate or inferior when the female achieves success in her career and lash out to claim superiority. Whatever the reason, domestic violence is not excusable and should be reported to the police as early as possible.
How can the police help prevent domestic violence?
If you are suffering from domestic abuse of any form, the police will be able to provide emergency protection from harm. In cases of physical assault, the perpetrator will be arrested immediately. When you report an incident of domestic violence, it will be investigated by specially trained police offers in Community Safety Units. Their duty is to protect victims of domestic abuse from their attackers and prevent it from happening again.
The police can serve a Domestic Violence Protection Notice on an abusive partner if they present a risk of violent behaviour. This notice lasts for 48 hours and requires the perpetrator to leave the premises and not contact the victim during this time.
How can a solicitor help?
After you have taken action to report the incident to the police, the next step is to seek specialist legal advice from a qualified domestic violence solicitor. When you instruct Crisp and Co to help protect you from your partner’s abusive behaviour, our priority will be to prevent the perpetrator from being in proximity to you and your children. No matter what the circumstances are surrounding the incident, our solicitors take each domestic violence report seriously and will take the necessary steps to protect you from harm, be it physical or psychological.
If you are suffering from any form of abuse in the home, your domestic violence solicitor should be able to help you get an injunction against your partner. There are three kinds of Court Orders our domestic violence solicitors can apply for on your behalf:
Non Molestation Order
A Non Molestation Order prevents your partner from pestering, harassing threatening or attacking you or your children. While civil courts will require less proof than a criminal court, it’s still useful to provide any evidence of the abuse. In cases of domestic violence, for example, this could be photographic evidence of damage to your property or injuries you have sustained. Providing proof of psychological abuse may be more difficult, but your dedicated solicitor will work with you to ensure that the Non Molestation Order is put in place in order to prevent any future abuse.
It is also possible for you to apply for an emergency Non Molestation Order without notice. Emergency orders will last 28 days, after which the abuser will have an opportunity to defend themselves and you will have the opportunity to set up a lasting order.
An Occupation Order defines who can and cannot live in a property. By applying for an Occupation Order against your partner, they will be legally prevented from entering your property. These orders can be tailored to your individual needs, and the court will decide which approach to take in order to protect you and your children from further abuse.
Prohibited Steps Order
Our domestic violence solicitors can help you set up a Prohibited Steps Order if you are concerned about the safety of your children. This order stops your partner from taking your children out of your care, allowing you to rest assured that their welfare is safely protected.
How much does a domestic violence lawyer cost?
Due to the nature of domestic violence, our aim is to ensure your situation is dealt with as quickly as possible and an order is set up with no delay. As a result, the costs will be kept to a minimum. In most cases in which the court can clearly see your allegations are true, a clause stating that the abuser must pay your legal fees will be included in the Order. The principle involved here is that you would not have had to pay legal fees had your partner not acted abusively towards you.
Our solicitors can provide further advice, support and representation if you wish to divorce your partner following an incident(s) of domestic violence. While this will likely add to costs, it is often the necessary step for you to take if your husband or wife becomes abusive.
If you are concerned about the costs of legal fees, it may be a good idea to check your eligibility for Legal Aid. Our domestic violence solicitors will help you make an application to the Legal Aid Agency in order to cover or contribute towards the costs of your case.