Nobody should be made to feel worthless or be harmed within their relationships. Domestic Violence / Abuse need not be physical violence, it includes abusive behaviour such as psychological abuse, emotional abuse, verbal abuse, controlling behaviour such as telling you what to wear, where to go, how to go, who you can see, what to cook, when to cook, as well as financial control and / or keeping you short of money or telling you how to spend money, insisting on receipts for everything.
Domestic violence / abuse may not be against just you, it could be against your child.
YOU NEED NOT SUFFER There is help available for you and your children. You may be able to apply for a protective order such as a NON-MOLESTATION ORDER or an OCCUPATION ORDER
These are orders prohibiting someone from doing something, for instance prohibiting the perpetrator from using or threatening violence, from sending you text or emails messages or from making derogatory remarks on social media. You can even get an exclusion order prohibition the respondent, from coming within a certain arear of your home, your work place or even the children's schools.
It is a very powerful order as any breach is an arrestable offence.
These orders can determine who is entitled to occupy the property even though the tenancy may be in joint names. Alternatively it can regulate the occupation of the home, for instance by setting times for use of the kitchen or bathroom. An Occupation Order can even remove the perpetrator of harm from the home.
You can even have ancillary orders that the perpetrator continue to pay the mortgage / rent.
Who can Apply
The law says you must be an 'associated person', this means one of the following:
A spouse or ex-spouse
A civil partner or previous civil partner
A fiancé(e) or ex-fiancé(e)
Someone with whom you are living or used to live with
The father or mother of your child
Someone with whom you have had an intimate personal relationship
A family member.
This applies to same sex couples and civil partnerships.
When to Apply
In cases of emergency or risk of immediate harm, you can apply to the courts for either of the orders above on an emergency basis without the perpetrator even knowing. The orders will become enforceable as soon as they have been served on the perpetrator either directly or s/he has been informed of the order. They will then have an opportunity to make representations to the court as to why the order should be discharged. However whilst the court is dealing with the representations, the orders will remain in place.
You may be entitled to Legal Aid to meet your costs in bringing the matter to court. Please call us for further information.
Enfield Family Law work closely with women's refuges, Women's Aid and domestic abuse organisations. We can get matters in to court within hours of instruction thereby obtaining almost immediate protection from harm.