If you’re a woman and are a victim of domestic abuse, you may be able to apply for protection from the court through a number of legal Orders, including non-molestation Orders and/or occupation Orders.
At Affordable Justice, the majority of our clients have experienced domestic abuse, and our all-women team is made up of experienced domestic abuse solicitors who have the specialist knowledge and expertise to represent you in court, helping you to get the protection you need to escape an abusive relationship. We understand the impact of domestic abuse and continuing concerns you may have about your wellbeing, safety and control of the legal process.
What Counts as Domestic Abuse?
Domestic abuse is when one person subjects someone they live with or have a relationship with to physical, sexual, financial, emotional abuse, or coercive control. All forms of domestic abuse are a crime.
Overwhelmingly, domestic abuse is committed by men against women. The abuser could be a spouse, romantic partner, parent, or other family member. If a child is present at the time, they are also victims of domestic abuse.
An estimated 1.6million women are subjected to domestic abuse in the UK each year.
If you have been physically attacked or hit by your partner or someone you have a relationship with, you are a victim of domestic abuse. Physical abuse can also include other types of behaviour, for example pushing, shoving or being spat at.
Emotional Abuse and Coercive Control
Coercive control is the most common form of domestic abuse. It is behaviour and actions designed to threaten, humiliate, intimidate, punish or shame. It can make victims isolated, afraid, and without control of their own lives. If a person you live with or have a relationship with you has threatened you, is controlling your choices and actions, humiliates you, or makes you feel worthless or bad on purpose (i.e. by ignoring you), you are a victim of emotional abuse and coercion.
If you have been subjected to sexual harassment or abuse by a partner or someone you have a relationship with, you are a victim of domestic and sexual abuse. This includes any sexual actions you have not consented to.
Economic abuse is a very common form of domestic abuse. It involves the control of money and finances, and the things money can buy. This abuse affects women’s independence and ability to separate safely from the abuser.
If your access to money or employment has been restricted or controlled, debts run up in your name, or assets withheld, or you are forced to be financially reliant on someone else by their actions, you are a victim of economic abuse.
Leaving an Abusive Situation
Abusers often exert extreme control over their victims, making it very difficult for them to leave, either because they are threatened if they try, or because they don’t have the means to do so, or have had their confidence to act eroded over time. In these cases, the court can help. No one should be subjected to domestic abuse, but when it does occur, there are a number of legal options that can provide protection to victims.
The family law system is often used to attempt to continue contact and control over women. We understand this danger and the impact it has on your wellbeing and safety. Through our colleagues at the Preston Road Women’s Centre where Affordable Justice is based, we offer advice and support to women who are victims of domestic abuse. Our all-women team are recognised family law specialists with extensive experience in helping women to access the legal remedies which enable them to leave abusive relationships and keep themselves and their children safe.
Domestic Abuse Orders
The safety of you and your children is very important to us. We will listen to you and provide unbiased, efficient advice that is proportionate to your circumstances. This may include applying for emergency domestic abuse Orders. We have years of experience in helping women to apply for occupation and Non-Molestation Orders. In some cases, we can apply for both for you.
Escaping an abusive relationship can be incredibly difficult, especially if you share a home together. An Occupation OOrder stops the abuser from living in or accessing the joint home if they pose a threat of violence.
Occupation Orders are designed to keep you and any children living in the home safe, but there are rigid criteria that must be met. We can offer further advice and guidance on applying for occupation Orders to protect you if you’re in an abusive situation.
If you are experiencing abusive threats, harassment, pestering, or intimidation, a Non-Molestation Order can be issued to stop the abuser from contacting you and perpetrating abusive behaviour. Oftentimes, a Non-Molestation Order and an Occupation Order can be issued together. We can help you apply for a Non-Molestation Order.
Affordable Domestic Abuse Legal Representation
Some victims of domestic or marital abuse may be eligible to receive Legal Aid. If we think you are eligible for Legal Aid we will recommend you apply to a local Legal Aid law firm. Our service is designed for women excluded from Legal Aid but who cannot afford the high costs of commercial family law solicitors.
Discuss Your Needs with Us
In order to discuss your legal situation, please get in touch. A member of our legal team will arrange a free initial conversation as promptly as possible, to discuss your situation and how we may be able to help.