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Navigating a Route Out of Domestic Violence


    According to the ONS, a domestic abuse call is made to the police every 30 seconds. This means that by the time you have finished reading this article, at least two people somewhere in the UK will be so terrified at the hands of their partner that they will feel compelled to pick up the phone and report it to the police.

    Yet the same statistics estimate that less than 24 per cent of domestic abuse crime is actually reported to the police – so for every one person that does pick up that phone, there are still three more that don’t.

    Of the 2.4 million reported cases of domestic violence in the UK, 1.7 million of these are women – women who are often having to protect their children as well as themselves. Women who have often been stripped of any financial independence. Women who are regularly in fear for their lives. According to the Femicide Census, 38 per cent of women killed by their ex-partner were killed within the first month of separation, and 89 per cent within the first year.

    How to Take Out an Injunction

    Navigating an escape route can be a treacherous process for women and their children,  and the legal language that is often deployed can be confusing, misleading, and open to abuse by the perpetrator of the violence.

    The word ‘injunction’ is often used in cases of domestic abuse when applying for a court order. More precisely, the two main UK court orders you need to be considering are an occupation order and a non-molestation order. Understanding how to get one of these orders served in the UK is often the very first starting point for women searching for that escape route.

    Let’s first understand more clearly what the two court orders are. Don’t forget – when talking about an ‘injunction,’ it is these two orders that are being referred to.

    What Does a Non-Molestation Order Entail?

    A non-molestation order is granted to women who have been subject to harassment, intimidation, controlling, threatening or violent behaviour perpetrated by someone to whom they are connected, either by family links or by being in a relationship with that man. The order prohibits that man from continuing his intimidating and threatening behaviours.

    What is an Occupation Order?

    Fundamentally an occupation order decides who is permitted to live in the shared family home and who is responsible for paying the associated costs of a home. By preventing a violent partner from entering the home – even if he has legal ownership – a woman and her children have the time, space and relative safety to consider what their next steps will be.

    What Costs are Involved with Taking out one of These Orders?

    Although there is no initial fee for making an application – you can do so yourself through the government website – there is no guarantee that you will be awarded the court orders. It is essential that you build up a log of evidence supporting your application. In order for the application to be put forward to court, you may need to employ the services of a solicitor, and with legal aid being so severely restricted these days, the chance of most women receiving financial aid is almost impossible.

    It is for this reason that Affordable Justice has grown so quickly over the last few years. Affordable Justice is now working nationwide, supporting women from Cornwall to Carlisle, Cardiff to Cambridge, with applications for non-molestation orders, occupation orders and other family law-related issues.

    It must be emphasised that Affordable Justice does not offer free legal services – as a business model, this would be unsustainable in the long run and would actually affect the quality of the services the company offers. Rather, the company has stripped out the profit element that is usually added by commercial solicitors, meaning that the fee structure is less than a third of high street prices, making their services much more affordable than usual.

    In fact, since the company was first established back in 2016, it has saved its clients over £1.4 million in legal fees and achieved a 97% success rate in delivering the desired outcome for these women.

    The Importance of Legal Representation

    One area that Affordable Justice is particularly conscious of when supporting women through the application to the courts is by protecting them as much as possible against what can be a re-traumatising process. Too often, if representing themselves, women have to face their abusers in the courtroom and stand up for themselves in the same way as they tried to in their own homes. This places the men back into a position of power, often affecting the overall success of the application in favour of the man. If you are seeking a way out of an abusive situation and would like to understand more about how Affordable Justice can help and support you, get in touch with us, and we will talk through your options.