Domestic abuse

If you're a victim of domestic abuse, our family law team will advise on keeping you safe and take the right legal steps.

Joshua Coombe, Chelmsford

Domestic abuse solicitors: Expert legal advice

If you are in an abusive relationship or being abused by someone who isn’t your partner, there is help available. Abuse can be directed against another adult or a child. Children can suffer from abuse directly or indirectly if they witness, hear or experience the aftermath of the abuse.

Our solicitors can help you apply for the right Court Order and support you through the process. We can also help you if your partner or abuser breaches the terms of the Order.

How can I protect myself from domestic abuse?

If you are in immediate danger, call the police – dial 999.

Tees’ offers out of hours support

If you need legal advice urgently, Tees provides out of hours support. Call our family law emergency number on 07757 674760 to talk to a solicitor.

Occupation order and non-molestation orders

Where matters are not being addressed through police action, most situations can be managed by an occupation order or non-molestation order. In an abusive relationship these orders place restrictions on the person who is being abusive, for example, preventing them from living in the house, contacting you etc.

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Financial protection

If you are experiencing domestic abuse and are considering divorce, you may already have started to look at, or get advice on the financial implications. It may be that financial protection for you can be arranged as part of the divorce, as a result of the domestic abuse situation.  The financial actions available are different for non-married families and we can provide specialist advice on this.


Victims of domestic violence may be subjected to cyberstalking.  For ideas on how to protect yourself you can read our article on how to reduce the risk of tech abuse.

We’re here to help

If you want a lawyer to take a closer look at your situation, our family and divorce lawyers are based in:

  • Cambridgeshire: Cambridge
  • Essex: Brentwood, Chelmsford, and Saffron Walden
  • Hertfordshire: Bishop's Stortford and Royston

But we can help you wherever you are in England and Wales.

Call our specialist solicitors on 0808 231 1320

Domestic violence FAQs

What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence or domestic abuse can include any incident of threatening behaviour or violence and is a criminal offence. Types of domestic violence include:

  • Physical abuse/violence
  • Emotional abuse
  • Financial abuse/control
  • Psychological abuse
  • Sexual abuse.

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What is Controlling or Coercive Behaviour?

Controlling or coercive behaviour in intimate or familial relationships is a criminal offence where the behaviour has a serious effect on the victim. Examples of controlling or coercive behaviour can include acts of domestic violence, but also includes:

  • Isolating a person from their friends or family
  • Depriving them of this basic needs
  • Monitoring their time
  • Monitoring them via online communication tools
  • Taking control over aspects of their everyday life
  • Repeatedly putting them down
  • Enforcing rules and activity which humiliates and degrades

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What is an Occupation Order?

An occupation order is a type of order that the court can make, that regulates who is entitled to live in a property. An occupation order can:

  • Exclude someone from the home altogether,
  • Restrict the right of someone to live in the home
  • Regulate how the home is used – setting out who can use which parts of the home and when
  • Define who is responsible to maintain the home
  • Who should pay rent, mortgage instalments, other outgoings and bills
  • Who should keep the home and contents secure.

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What is a Non-Molestation Order?

A non-molestation order prohibits someone from behaving in a certain way towards another person. Each non-molestation order will be tailored to address individual circumstances. If you have applied for a non-molestation order it can, among other things:

  • Forbid violence against you
  • Prohibit someone coming within specified distance of you, your home or your place of work
  • Prohibit someone from communicating with you, except through your solicitors.

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