- August 2015
Domestic Abuse isn't just on Coronation Street
Sadly incidents of domestic abuse are rising. In the UK an incident of domestic abuse is reported to the police every minute. Nearly one million people experience domestic abuse each year and one in four women experiences domestic abuse over their lifetime. It is important to remember that domestic abuse is suffered by men as well as women.
Once again Coronation Street is hitting the headlines with dramatic scenes involving Leanne and her step son Simon and - in a shocking twist - Simon is the perpetrator. This is not the first time Coronation Street scriptwriters have focused on such a major sensitive issue - a few years ago we saw Tyrone Dobbs become a victim at the hands of his abusive wife Kirsty. In a recent survey of reported incidents of domestic abuse 81% of victims were women and 19% were men.
Domestic abuse is serious and sometimes deadly. It ruins lives, breaks up families and has a lasting impact for each individual involved. It can affect individuals in any community, regardless of age, status, race, religion, nationality, education or background.
There are times when victims do not want to involve the police through fear of repercussions, but they need to find protection and can look to the Family Court for a solution. The Family Law Act 1996 provides a remedy, with an injunction called a Non Molestation Order. An application supported by a witness statement is made to the Family Court and is heard by an experienced Judge.
This procedure can take place relatively quickly and an injunction can usually be obtained within a few hours of making the application. In most cases, the District Judge will hear the initial application in private in his chambers and will be sympathetic. Very often the Applicant will not be required to speak or give any additional evidence. The Judge will ask the solicitor to present the application and any questions will be directed to the solicitor.
The interim injunction will give immediate protection against further domestic abuse and will remain in place for a period of time usually anything between 6 and 12 months. If the perpetrator breaches the order it is a criminal offence and they can be arrested and may be sent to prison.
Jackamans has a specialist team dealing with domestic abuse applications which can deal with emergencies quickly and efficiently. We have a 24 hour domestic abuse helpline number for clients but in the first instance call 01473 255591.
Our specialist family team also advises on private law children applications as well as acting for parents in public law children proceedings.
This article provides only a general summary and is not intended to be comprehensive. Special legal advice should be taken in any individual situation.