If you are in immediate danger call 999.
Both the criminal and the civil law can assist you in matters concerning domestic violence.
Domestic Violence encompasses a wide range of behaviour and not exclusively physical violence. You may feel mentally abused, at risk of violence or harassed by a spouse, partner or former spouse or partner and these are all forms of Domestic Violence.
The police can assist you and should be your first contact if you are in immediate danger. Even if you wish to proceed using the civil law you should contact the police to have incidents of domestic violence recorded. Most police stations have a Domestic Violence Officer. If you have been sexually assaulted you should contact the police or Rape Crisis Centre. Do not wash or change your clothes.
If you have visible injuries take photographs of them to use as evidence in the future even though you may not wish to bring proceedings at this time. You should seek medical advice to ensure your injuries heal and you can ask your Doctor to record what has happened for future reference.
You need to protect your children. By taking no action in relation to domestic violence, you are not protecting them and there is a risk that your doctor or the police could report this to Social Services.
The civil orders available to you are a Non Molestation Order (an order to stop the behaviour by your partner/spouse which, if breached, can result in their arrest) and an Occupation Order (an order to force your partner/spouse to move out of your home or only occupy certain parts of it).
We can assist you with the application to the Court including preparing your statement. If necessary we can arrange to apply to the court on an emergency basis and without notice to your spouse/partner. The Court may grant an interim order to protect you until the Court is able to hear your opponent’s case.