New domestic abuse bill
A Bill on protection measures for victims of domestic abuse is planned to be re-introduced in the Queen’s Speech on 14th October 2019.
There had been worries that the Bill could be dropped after Parliament was prorogued earlier this month. After pressure from domestic violence organisations the government have announced that the Bill will be carried forward.
The new Bill aims to define domestic abuse in law for the first time and set up a Domestic Abuse Commissioner to stand up for victims and survivors.
The Bill’s planned re-introduction comes at a crucial moment. The BBC recently reported that the number of domestic violence killings is at its highest for 5 years.
If you or someone you know is suffering domestic violence at the moment, you can contact us for help and we will talk you through the current kinds of protection you can apply for.
What protection is available at the moment?
At the moment there are 2 main types of injunctions which you can apply for if you are suffering domestic abuse.
1. Non-Molestation Orders:
If an ex-partner, a family member, or someone you have lived with, is harassing, intimidating or threatening you, you can make an application to court for a Non-Molestation Order.
If you are afraid of your abuser and need the Order quickly you can make an urgent “without notice” application so that they do not know you are making the application.
If the judge agrees that you need a Non-Molestation Order, they will grant it.
A Non-Molestation Order usually lasts for 6 months but it can be granted for up to a year.
If the person who has been harassing or threatening you breaks any of the conditions in the Order after they receive it, they can be arrested.
2. Occupation Orders:
You can also apply for an Occupation Order to carry on living in your home and for the person who has been abusing you not to be allowed to live there.
There are different conditions which you need to meet and which we can advise you of.
Occupation Orders are harder to obtain than Non-Molestation Orders because the court has to balance the harm which would be caused to you, the person who has abused you, and any children involved, if the order was either made or not made.
If you are concerned that your partner may have a record of domestic abuse, you can also contact the police yourself confidentially, and ask for information on your partner’s previous history of domestic violence using “Claire’s Law”.
If you need help to apply for a Non-Molestation Order or an Occupation Order, please contact our experienced family team on 0191 243 8163 and we will be happy to assist you. We always have a legal adviser available to help you with an urgent domestic violence application, and we can help you prepare the application, go to court and arrange delivery of the Order to the person who has been harassing you.