First things first, if you think you are at risk of harm, it is important that you inform the Police. You may also be able to secure long-term protection by way of a Non-Molestation Order.
What is a Non-Molestation Order?
It is a civil Order which can prohibit a person using or threatening violence, communicating or even entering an address. Molestation can come in all shapes and forms, and a one-size-fits-all approach is not always the case. Luckily, the law recognises the need for such protection and allows for an Order to be made.
Can I apply for a Non-Molestation Order?
To apply for an Order, the law requires that the other party must be an “associated person”. This can range from ex-partners, cohabitants, previous sexual relations and even relatives.
I am worried the Judge will not think it amounts to “molestation”
In order to afford protection to as many people as possible, the term “molestation” can mean a wide range of behaviour. So, if you are being harassed by your ex partner or spouse, even where there has been no violence, this may be an Order you should consider. The Judge will assess molestation on a “more likely than not” basis.
How long will the Order last?
There is no specific duration. Typically, an Order is granted for 6 months but this can be extended to 12 months if the court thinks it is necessary.
But… I don’t think they will abide by the Order
Breaching an Order is a criminal offence and can result in imprisonment for up to 5 years or a fine.
This sounds like an Order I need. How do I apply for one?
A Non-Molestation Order can be obtained by making an Application to the Court, on an emergency basis if necessary
How much will this cost me?
We can assess your eligibility for Legal Aid. The Legal Aid Agency would need to be satisfied that you are financially eligible. In addition, an Order would need to be deemed necessary to protect your safety. If you are not eligible for Legal Aid a Non-Molestation Order can be obtained on a privately paying basis.
Here at David Gray Solicitors, we are specialists in dealing with cases of domestic abuse. We will always have someone available during office hours who you can speak to. We can then help you decide what further steps need to be taken.