We can advise on court orders, known as injunctions, such as non-molestation orders and occupation orders. These orders either require an abuser to do something or prohibit them from doing something. If you wish to go ahead with arranging a court order, we can do that for you and in very urgent cases, we can make these applications quickly and without the abuser knowing.
The government’s definition of domestic violence or domestic abuse:
“any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality”
You can find further information about this, along with how to recognise the signs of abuse or violence on our web pages.
Unsurprisingly, domestic violence is on the increase as people find themselves trapped in their homes with their abusers during the coronavirus/COVID-19 lockdown. A report by MPs says the number of calls to the National Domestic Abuse Helpline, run by Relate, is up by 50% after three weeks of lockdown, and calls to Men’s Advice Line have increased by 17%.
Thankfully, Communities Secretary, Robert Jennick, has said that sufferers will not be breaking the law if they leave their homes to seek help during the lockdown period. The government has also recently announced a £76 million package to help those subject to domestic abuse, vulnerable children and victims of modern slavery. The money will include funds being put into providing safe accommodation for survivors of domestic violence and their children in England and the recruitment of additional counsellors for victims of sexual violence.
Bradie Pell, partner and head of the family department at Graysons, says:
“The charity, OnlyMums and OnlyDads, has recently called for solicitors to offer a free 20-minute telephone conversation to those seeking help regarding domestic violence. As a member of the Family Law Panel, which is run by this charity, I am pleased to say that Graysons has offered a 30-minute free appointment, including telephone conversations, in such cases for many years. We are currently all working from home during the coronavirus lockdown, but we are still able to offer this service, and can also offer the free 30-minute consultation using email or video call if this is more appropriate. Simply contact us on the direct telephone number or email address given against our profile and you will get straight though to a family lawyer who is experienced in offering advice on domestic violence. You can also contact us at 0114 272 9184 or email [email protected].”
You can find very good advice relating to domestic violence, how to stay safe during lockdown and details of several organisations that can help at savelives.org.uk. Also, the pharmacy chain, Boots, has announced that you can find a safe place to contact someone regarding domestic violence in its stores. Simply ask an assistant to use the consultation room.
Don’t forget, if you are, or you know someone who is at imminent danger of domestic violence, call 999 and ask for the police. You can use the silent system if you cannot speak, which involves pressing 55 when you are prompted.
Author: Bradie Pell, partner and head of Graysons’ family team.