Domestic violence and controlling or coercive behaviour

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

Elizabeth Gale, Bishop's Stortford

What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence can include any incident of threating 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.

What is Controlling or Coercive Behaviour?

Controlling or coercive behaviour in intimate or familial relationships is a criminal offence, as is domestic violence.  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

Your abuser could be your current partner, former partner or someone else you know. Abuse can be directed against another adult or even a child. Children can suffer from abuse directly or indirectly if they witness, hear or experience the aftermath of the abuse.

If you are in an abusive relationship, there is help available. 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 breaches the terms of the Order.

How can I protect myself domestic abuse?

If you need urgent help

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

Out of hours support

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

Occupation order and non-molestation order

Where matters are not being address through police action, most situations can be managed by an occupation order or non-molestation order.

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 is should keep the home and contents secure.

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 the individual circumstances. If you have applied for a non-molestation order it can:

  • 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

Financial protection

If you are considering divorce and as part of that you are receiving advice about the financial implications, it may be that financial protection for you can be arranged as part of the divorce.  The financial actions available are different for non-married families and we can provide specialist advice on this.

What to do next

If you need legal advice about your partner’s behaviour or domestic violence, or a related issue, you can call us. A dedicated family law solicitor will outline your options and tell you how we can help.

Come in and see us for a FREE 30 minute face-to-face consultation about your options. Alternatively, if you want us to take a closer look at your situation, for a fixed fee of £150 + VAT, we can talk with you for up to 90 minutes.

Call our Family and Divorce Law solicitors on 0800 013 1165

For a free initial chat, at no obligation, or fill out our enquiry form and a solicitor will get in touch.

Enquiry form

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