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  Solicitors Bude Cornwall   Article - Domestic Violence Help - 17 May 2008 Holsworthy Solicitors


According to Home Office statistics, on average one incident of domestic violence is reported to the police every minute, domestic violence accounts for 16% of all violent crime and has more repeat victims than any other crime.
  Statistics suggest that domestic violence affects one in four women and one in six men.
 
Domestic violence is any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between adults who are or have been in a relationship together or between family members, regardless of gender or sexuality.
 
When people think of domestic violence, they often imagine a drunken husband beating up his wife but more often than not the suffering is through emotional abuse and controlling behaviour and it is a sad reality that the victim will often think they are to blame and they cannot see any way out of the cycle. 
 
A victim of domestic violence can apply for a Non-molestation Injunction (prohibiting the use/threat of violence or harassment from the perpetrator) and/or Occupation Order (ordering the perpetrator to leave and stay away from the home).
 
Although we use the term “domestic violence”, it is not the case that you can only obtain an injunction if you have been attacked by your spouse/partner.  Threats of violence and intimidation are also grounds for injunction proceedings. 
 
One fear of victims of domestic violence is that once they have taken the step to seek help, they may be at further risk from the perpetrator. However, the Courts have the power to make an Order in the first instance without any reference to or knowledge of the perpetrator. The Court recognises the need for urgency in such matters and a victim of domestic violence could consult a solicitor at 9.00am in the morning and by 4.00pm have in place an Injunction ordering their spouse/partner to stay away from the home, not to attempt to contact them in any way and not use or threaten violence.  Depending upon your financial position, Legal Aid may be available to fund the injunction application.
 
Previously, it would be for the Applicant to apply to have a Power of Arrest attached to the Non-molestation Injunction. However, as a measure as to how serious such injunctions should be taken, since July 2007 there is no longer any need for the Court to attach a Power of Arrest because breach of a Non-Molestation Order is now a criminal offence in itself and that obviously has potentially serious repercussions for the perpetrator. Having been served with a Non-Molestation Injunction, if the perpetrator then breached it and the Court is satisfied there was a breach, the perpetrator could face a fine or a period of imprisonment and would have a criminal record.
 
If you are a victim of domestic violence or require any divorce or separation assistance call use on 01288 356 256 for sympathetic and professional help.

Martin Curnow
Head of Litigation, Paul Finn Solicitors
Tel: 01288 356 256
Email: CurnowM@FinnLaw.co.uk
 
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