Domestic Violence

At WBW we appreciate that seeking advice when you have been subjected to domestic abuse can be a very difficult step to take.

In our experience, domestic abuse takes many forms and can be perhaps best be described as a pattern of controlling or aggressive behaviour by one partner or former partner or their family, towards another.

Such abuse can be demonstrated in a number of ways, physical or emotional, psychological, financial and sometimes in other ways too.  Sometimes the abuse actually takes place and sometimes it is threatened, it can be frequent or only happen occasionally.

No matter how the abuse is displayed, you will find those at WBW understanding of your situation and able to offer advice about a range of options available to you, whether legal protection by way of an injunction, advice about support from other agencies or just information to assist you to make decisions for yourself or others in your family.

We can assist with:

  • Non Molestation and Occupation orders
  • Immediate public finding cover subject to clients’ financial circumstances

FAQs

What happens if my ex-partner breaks the non molestation order?

Breach of a non molestation order, that is doing anything under the terms of the order which is prohibited by the order is a criminal offence. If that happens the perpetrator can be arrested by the Police and charged with that offence. The perpetrator can be fined or sent to prison as a result.

Will I have to face my ex-partner in Court?

Depending upon the particular circumstances of the case, where a person is in immediate danger or at risk of significant harm, an application to the Court can be made without a former partner knowing to ensure that the Court can make urgent orders which are enforceable as soon as the Order has been delivered to them. The order is usually delivered by an enquiry agent, someone who does that work and who unconnected to you. This type of application is known as a ‘without notice” or “ex parte” as the hearing will be held without notice having been given to a former partner. Any order which is made in this way must be listed for a second hearing as soon as possible so that the Judge can hear what that person has to say too and can decide whether the Order should stay in place or changed or removed. Immediate protection is available for victims of domestic abuse without having to face the perpetrator at the outset where certain circumstances are met, in most cases victims must also always be aware that at a second hearing they will usually have to see the other person involved. Security arrangements can be made at most Courts such as separate waiting rooms and in very serious circumstances the Court can excuse the attendance of the victim.

I still live with my violent partner – how do I remove him from the property?

Where there is a risk of immediate harm to someone the Court can make what is known as an Occupation Order which is an order which states who can live in a property and when someone else cannot continue to live there even if they had a legal right to do so Orders can be tailored to the specific circumstances of a case depending upon whether the property is owned or rented or whether it is in joint or sole names. In some circumstances Occupation orders can also provide for an exclusion zone around property or prevent someone entering a certain street where necessary.

What is the difference between an injunction and a non molestation order?

An injunction is a general word used in legal terms to describe an order which prevents a person or an organisation from doing something. A non molestation order is a family law injunction. A non molestation order is an order which is intended to protect an individual from violence or threats of violence by a current or former partner or member of their family. A non molestation order is only available to certain groups of people and includes those who are married or have been married, those who live together or relatives or parents of a child. A non molestation order can be tailored to meet the circumstances of the case but usually will prevent a person from threatening or committing acts of violence, intimidating, pestering or harassing another person and importantly prevents anyone else from being instructed or encouraged by that person to do those things.