Talk to us
Once you’re immediate safety needs are met, you can come and talk to us about the legal implications of your situation, and to explore ways to formalise your long-term exit from the relationship.
We offer clear advice on all aspects including how to:
- Obtain a non-molestation order
- Apply for an occupation order
- Establish your legal rights to your family home
- Resolve who the children will live with
- Divorce an abusive spouse
Call us in complete confidence, or fill in our enquiry form, stating the best time and means by which we can talk to you.
Types of domestic and emotional abuse
The draft Domestic Abuse bill includes the first statutory definition of domestic abuse as:
- Emotional abuse, involving controlling or coercive behaviours where your partner might isolate you from friends, criticise what you wear or do, or accuse you of having affairs.
- Financial control and emotional abuse where they control your finances, don’t let you work or earn your own money, or don’t give you sufficient money for essentials and food.
- Threatening and intimidating behaviour, where your partner might say they’ll hurt, you, break items belonging to you, follow you outside the home, or make threats to kill themselves or your children.
- Physical abuse, including hitting, punching, slapping, holding down, choking and throwing items.
- Sexual abuse, including unwanted sexual demands, hurting you, or applying pressure to have sex. (Remember, if your partner has sex with you when you either say or indicate you don’t want to, this is an act of rape.)
- Cultural abuse, including forced marriages, female genital mutilation, and honour-based abuse.
Giving evidence in court; the new Domestic Abuse Bill
I firmly believe that one of the major barriers for domestic abuse victims coming forward is the current right for their abuser to cross-examine them in court. Having escaped once from an abusive relationship, it takes enormous courage to face your abuser again, let alone have them try to discredit everything you say through cross examination.
That’s why LGFL is a strong supporter of the draft Domestic Abuse Bill that would remove this right. The Bill, when passed will, according to the Law Gazette:
- End cross-examination of domestic violence victims by their alleged abuser.
- Introduce the first statutory definition of domestic abuse.
- Specifically include economic abuse which is an extremely important factor often overlooked.
- Also include controlling and manipulative non-physical abuse.
Giving evidence in court: other changes
This bill comes close on the heels of other much-welcomed changes to evidence requirements in private family law disputes including:
- No time limit on abuse evidence (formally 5 years).
- A wider remit for evidence to include statement from support organisations and housing officers.
- Easier access to legal aid (although still subject to means and merits tests).
Domestic abuse and child access for those accused of abuse
When a case goes before the Family Court for child access rights, the court is primarily concerned with the welfare of the children involved. If an accusation of domestic abuse is made, the judge must be satisfied that what someone has said happened did actually happen.
Preventing domestic violence
There are many factors that contribute to domestic abuse, some of which start with people unwittingly choosing a partner with a violent past. The domestic violence disclosure scheme allows you to check with the police if a prospective partner has a recorded history of violence that places you at potential risk.
This ‘right to ask’ also extends to friends and family who can ask on your behalf. The police can release the information if it is considered:
“Lawful, necessary and proportional to do so.”
Domestic abuse: we’re here to help
As an experienced family lawyer here at LGFL, I’ve seen my fair share of cases involving every type of emotional abuse, physical violence and coercive control. I know it can happen to anyone; male, female, young, old, regardless of gender, race, sexuality or social background. Nothing shocks me (sadly), I am genuinely here to help, and I take the utmost care to ensure your confidentiality. As my client, I place you and your children at the heart of everything we here at LGFL will do, using every legal method and safeguard to help you move forward with your life.
Call me to discuss your situation. I offer a free 30-minute consultation where you can meet me in our discreet countryside offices, or at my new private office in central Reading.