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Domestic Violence

What is domestic abuse and how do I get help?

What is domestic abuse?

The UK Government definition of domestic abuse is “any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or 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”.  This can encompass, but is not limited to, the following types of abuse:

  • Psychological
  • Psychical
  • Sexual
  • Financial
  • Emotional

Abuse comes in many forms. Intimidation, coercive behaviour, gas lighting, forced marriage, or digital abuse online, can all amount to domestic abuse.

What can you do to get help?

If you are experiencing abuse, it is important to tell someone, such as a close family member or friend if you are able to. There are also a number of agencies who can provide support during these difficult times, such as Women’s Aid or Victim Support.

If you fear for your safety, notify the police in the first instance.

How can a solicitor help?

You may also contact a solicitor for advice. A solicitor can send warning letters to the perpetrator and apply to the Court for an Injunction under the Family Law Act 1996 to protect both yourself and your family.

An injunction is an order from the Court that prevents the perpetrator from continuing with such behaviour and in some instances the Court may also grant an Occupation Order to order the perpetrator to leave the family home.  If he or she breaches the Court Order they can be arrested by the police.  The criminal penalty is a fine up to a maximum of £5,000 and in serious cases custodial sentences can be passed.

If you require advice, then please contact a member of our Family Department at Hegarty Solicitors.

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