Abusive relationships can develop at any stage and may continue after the relationship has ended. It can take many forms - not just physical attack but also bullying, threats, verbal abuse and humiliation. Domestic violence is usually experienced by women, but men can also be victims of harassment. Domestic violence can arise in other family relationships as well.

Our lawyers are also trained to recognise when domestic abuse has taken place, as there are occasions when even our clients themselves do not recognise that they have been suffering from a subtle form of abuse from their partner or family member.

Our Linda Parish is a Resolution Accredited Specialist in domestic abuse. Also our Tracy Murphy is a qualified facilitator for the domestic abuse Freedom Programme.

What remedies are available?

In the first instance, you should always consider advising the police as it may be appropriate for a formal warning to be given even if you would not wish there to be a formal criminal prosecution or court injunction.

Whether or not the criminal law is used against a violent person, you can still use the civil law to get protection to allow you to live in safety.

What court orders can be made?

A non-molestation order is about behaviour. It can stop one person pestering, threatening or being violent to another person.

An occupation order is about the home and can do a number of things. For example, it can order the violent person to leave the home, or not to come near it.

What happens if somebody disobeys the court order?

There is an automatic power of arrest attached to a non-molestation order and the court can give the police the power to arrest a person who disobeys an occupation order.

Can a child apply for protection?

Yes, it is possible for a child to apply. Someone over 18 must help the child to make the application. If the child is under 16 the court will only allow the application to be made if it is satisfied that the child understands what is involved.

What can I do in an emergency?

If an order needs to be made urgently, the court has the power to do so immediately, before the person against whom the order is being made is told that you have applied. In this instance, there will be a further hearing during which the person against whom the order has been made is given an opportunity to put forward their side of the case. 

Can I get Legal Aid to fund the proceedings?

Possibly, we will be happy to carry out a free legal aid eligibility assessment.

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