Domestic Abuse Injunctions

05 August 2021 Blog Donna Goodsell

Legal protection from domestic abuse

At Goodsells Family Law we have significant experience helping those who have suffered domestic abuse and we can help you, whatever your gender, race, or sexual orientation.

You can seek legal protection from domestic abuse whether the abuser's actions are physical, psychological or emotional. You do not have to be physically injured to seek protection. Rapid action is crucial in emergency situations – always call 999 if you, or a family member is in imminent danger or you fear for your life.

What constitutes domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse, sometimes also known as domestic violence, covers a wide range of actions including:

  • Coercive controlling behaviour
  • Emotional abuse
  • Financial abuse
  • Gaslighting
  • Honour-based abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Psychological abuse
  • Sexual abuse/harassment

Sadly, physical abuse is one of the most prevalent forms of domestic violence. However, emotional abuse and controlling behaviour are insidious forms of ill-treatment that can sometimes be more difficult for the outside world to see or understand. Yet, they are still forms of domestic abuse and the law provides protection from them.

Emergency situations

In an emergency or if you feel you or your children are at risk of immediate harm, you should call or text 999 and ask for the police. You can also use textphone on 0800 112 999.

In urgent situations, an application for an emergency injunction can be made to the court and can often be processed within 24 hours.

Domestic abuse injunctions

One of the main pieces of advice for anyone suffering domestic abuse is to report it to the police, but this can be difficult for a number of reasons.

By speaking to a Family Law solicitor experienced in domestic abuse, you can discuss your situation knowing that the information you are giving is confidential and you are not being judged in any way. A solicitor can give advice about how the law can protect you and the most appropriate course of action in your particular situation.

A solicitor for domestic abuse injunctions can help you apply to the court for an injunction to protect you from the abuser.

What is a domestic abuse injunction?

An injunction is a court order requiring someone (your abuser) to either do or not do something. Part 4 of the Family Law Act 1996 deals with family homes and domestic violence and allows for two types of injunction.

  • Mon-molestation orders
  • Occupation orders

Non-molestation order

A non-molestation order can protect you, your children and other family members from the abusive actions of another individual (for instance, your spouse or civil partner, the person you live with). The order may require the abuser not to use abusive, violent, harassing or threatening behaviour towards you and/or your children, and can require them not to contact you or by phone, text, email, or via social media platforms either at home or at work.

While a non-molestation order is not a guarantee that the abuse will stop, if the perpetrator defies the terms of the injunction they can be arrested and charged with a criminal offence.

Occupation order

If you share a home with the abuser, an occupation order can prohibit them from entering or coming near the home. You can apply for an occupation order whether you are a tenant or owner of the property, or even if the tenancy or ownership is in the abuser's sole name.

A court will consider numerous issues before granting an occupation order, including the potential effect on you and your children, as well as on the abuser.

Court orders and child abduction

If your partner uses the threat of taking away your children to control or abuse you, you can apply to the court for a Prohibited Steps Order , providing you have parental responsibility .

Goodsells Family Law and legal protection from domestic abuse

We fully understand the distress and harm caused by domestic abuse, and the difficulties associated with seeking help. When you contact Goodsells, we will listen carefully and sensitively to your situation. This will enable us to advise you on the most appropriate course of action.

If we feel there is imminent risk to you or your family members we will help you make contact with the police and seek emergency legal protection via an emergency injunction application.

We can also help you and your children seek assistance from local centres that provide refuge, counselling and general assistance to families affected by domestic abuse.

To talk to an expert domestic abuse solicitor in London, contact Goodsells Family Law on 020 7622 2221 or complete our online enquiry form.