Legal recourse for sufferers of domestic abuse
Family Law – Domestic Abuse
Domestic abuse can destroy families and shatter the confidence of people who do not know why they have been singled out. There are many potential causes and reasons why a domestic relationship may become abusive, from the psychological to the behavioural, and many ways that the abuse can manifest itself, from the sexual through to the verbal and the economic.
The reasons and the type of abuse that people go through is not the scope of this article, we are simply here to describe what legal measures a person can take to protect themselves from an abusive relationship.
A mention should go to the fact that a lot of domestic abuse is long term in nature. The first thing a person can do is to seek advice on their situation. Living in an abusive environment can distort a person’s view of themselves and their surroundings and talking to others can help you put your situation in perspective.
In the short term, a person should always ring the police if they fear for their safety with regard to domestic abuse, it is an illegal activity and the law is on your side. Remember to use the 112 number of you are using a mobile. The problem comes from the fact that there is no specific offence of domestic abuse, because it is such a broad thing and it encompasses many other crimes. Assault, criminal damage, false imprisonment, harassment, attempted murder and rape are all criminal offences in The UK.
There are a number of longer term legal solutions that are available to the victims of domestic abuse. If you want to legally enforce a separation from a partner that is abusing you or you simply want to keep them away from you a period of time, you will need to talk to a family law solicitor. You will need to recognise that there are likely to be battles over custody of any children involved but that if domestic abuse can be proved it will be adequate grounds for a divorce.
The next legal option that is available is to take out an injunction against the abuser. An injunction legally requires a person to do, or refrain themselves from doing a set of acts. Your family law solicitor will have to apply to court and you will have to present your case. It is up to the judge presiding whether or not they feel that the accused will need to be present. A non-molestation order will make any further abuse from the abuser towards you an illegal offence and punishable in court. An occupation order is more concerned with the proximity of the abuser to you than the actual acts themselves, as it governs who is allowed into your house and the surrounding area of that is necessary.
It must be noted that injunctions are unfortunately only temporary solutions and that they can only be taken out by a select group of people with regards to the abuser, so seek the advice of a family solicitor.
It is always worth remembering that no one in the UK has an obligation to be abused and that we all have the right to live free and prosperous lives that are governed by our own ability and our own effort. The law is there to facilitate that process of living your live as a free individual so if anyone is stopping you, there are legal ways to get help.