The established definition of domestic violence is: 

“any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to psychological, physical, sexual, financial, and emotional.”

Domestic violence is therefore extremely wide reaching and is present in many marriages and relationships in one form or another.

We are experienced in providing advice and assistance to deliver vital protection, often on an emergency basis and are acutely aware of the difficulties victims of domestic violence face. We appreciate that acknowledging and addressing the domestic violence is only one of the hurdles for victims to overcome. Often there are much wider considerations such as arrangements for the children of the relationship, securing accommodation and financial matters that require resolution. We are here to provide comprehensive advice as to all aspects of relationship breakdown and create the most pragmatic solution for the individual.

Should you require any further information about any issues surrounding domestic violence please contact one of our expert team.

1. My partner has been domestically violent towards me, I require protection what are my options?

Where a person requires protection from domestic violence we are able to apply for a non-molestation order. These orders prevent the perpetrator from using or threatening violence against the applicant (and if applicable children) or intimidating, harassing or pestering the applicant. This is to ensure that the health, safety and well-being of the applicant and any children are prioritised. A breach of a Non-Molestation Order is an arrestable offence and now carries a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment.

These applications can be made on an emergency basis without notice to the perpetrator. It requires an application and statement to be prepared and attendance at a short hearing. The perpetrator would not be present at this hearing and if the judge believes immediate protection is required orders will be made and served upon the perpetrator immediately thereafter.

If orders are made on an emergency basis a further hearing will be listed shortly after the initial hearing. The perpetrator will be ordered to attend this hearing to provide his or her viewpoint on matters in order for the court to decide whether protection orders should continue.

In some cases where the domestic violence is denied and the perpetrator is looking for dismissal of orders a final hearing will be listed which will require both sides to give evidence, following which judgment will be given.

2. My partner is domestically violent towards me, we live in the same property and I no longer feel safe. What are my options?

We can apply for an Occupation Order which controls who can live in a property and can also restrict the perpetrator from entering a certain area. These orders can be made where the applicant does not feel safe living with the perpetrator or they have left because of the domestic violence or intimidation and want to return to a property without the perpetrator being there.

An application for an Occupation Order can be made as a standalone issue but they are most commonly made alongside non-molestation applications as the two issues go hand in hand. Occupation Orders are however less likely to be made on an emergency basis without notice to the perpetrator as the court wishes to hear from both parties.

This could mean that until a hearing has been listed an applicant would have to remain in the same property as the perpetrator which is difficult and often unsafe. We therefore work closely with other agencies such as Women’s Aid and Refuge to secure emergency accommodation and protection. 

"Howes Percival LLP is ‘friendly and approachable, yet highly professional’."
- Legal 500

Get in touch

To contact us, please fill out this form and we will get back in touch as soon as possible. Your personal data will be processed in accordance with our privacy policy which can be found here.

Speak to one of our family lawyers about a free initial consultation
Legal insights
Related articles
Parents fighting infront of upset child
Summer Holidays and Separated Parents

Summer holidays are usually an exciting, if not a busy time for families. Children are looking forward…

Wedding Rings
I do, I do, I do, I do, I do

So says the ABBA song and as we hit wedding season, so will many brides and grooms. A number of them…

View more related articles Click Here