Being subjected to domestic violence or domestic abuse is devastating. There is never any excuse for such conduct. There is a common misconception that domestic violence only happens in homes where there is a level of deprivation. In reality anyone can experience domestic violence regardless of their race, religious group, class, or lifestyle choices. Being from a professional background or being in a relationship in which you enjoy a high standard of living does not necessarily protect you from domestic violence or domestic abuse. Both men and women can experience domestic violence.
What Is Domestic Abuse or Domestic Violence?
Many victims of domestic abuse do not always recognise that the behaviour they are being subjected to from a spouse, partner or other family member is unacceptable.
Domestic abuse can include the following:
Physical or sexual abuse – the assault upon you does not have to be sufficiently violent to leave marks or require medical treatment. Any type of assault including pushing, slapping, punching or any unwanted sexual contact amounts to domestic abuse.
Stalking or harassment – this can take many forms such as being followed or tracked, being bombarded with phone calls or text messages or where your partner or spouse might bombard your family or employer with phone calls or messages.
Online or social media abuse – your partner or spouse might be posting private photographs of you or posting abusive messages about you on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or other social media platforms
Psychological or mental abuse – this can be “gaslighting “, being spoken to in an abusive or derogatory manner to more extreme forms of behaviour where you are made to feel that you are losing your mind
Coercion and control or financial abuse – Your partner or spouse could be preventing you from seeing family and friends, restricting your access to money, monitoring your phone, or preventing you from working
At Branch Austin we understand that early action is extremely important. Your safety is our priority and we “fast track ” any court application that might be necessary for domestic violence injunction orders. In many cases we can get such orders for you within 48 hours.
Our family law partner Saika Alam has been dealing with domestic violence cases for over 20 years. She understands that such cases need to be dealt with speed and sensitivity and her approach is client led. Taking that first step to see a solicitor in a case of domestic abuse takes great courage. Many clients fear the repercussions of going to court. Not all clients will want to apply to the court for domestic violence injunction orders immediately. Where necessary Saika can signpost you to other sources of help. Saika is accredited by the Law Society and is on the Advanced Family Law panel.
Who Are Our Clients?
We are instructed by both men and women. We represent both victims of domestic violence and clients who have been accused of domestic abuse and are looking to defend the allegations made against them.
Where someone has been falsely accused of domestic violence the consequences for him or her can also be devastating. Such clients will often find that their lives have been turned upside down and that they have been forced to give up any contact with their children. In some cases, they may have also lost their jobs. They will need urgent all-round support to include court applications for child arrangement orders and representations made to their employers. If necessary, our employment law team can make those formal representations to employers on behalf of clients.
We are also instructed by family members – for example parents who are being subjected to domestic abuse from their children.
Please take advantage of our confidential and free enquiry to find out what your options are.
What Domestic Violence Injunction Orders Are Available To You?
Non-molestation order – This is an order of the court that prohibits your spouse or partner (or other family member) from using violence against you or threatening you with violence. These orders can be tailored to your specific needs.
Occupation order – sometimes also called exclusion orders. This is an order of the court allowing you to return to your home if you have been locked out of it or alternatively the court can make an order excluding your spouse or partner (or other family member) from your home.
Where appropriate you can apply to the court for the above orders without giving notice of your court application to your spouse, partner or other family member if it is likely that such spouse, partner or family member would stop you from making your domestic violence injunction application to the court if he or she got wind of it. These are sometimes called “ex parte” injunction orders.
Examples Of Our Experience
Acting for a mother who was being subjected to violence from her adult son. Successfully obtained injunction orders excluding her son from her home (and subsequently defended his claim on the mother’s property.)
Acting for a wife with young children who was being subjected to physical, emotional, and financial abuse. Obtaining a court order preventing her husband from using or threatening her with violence. The husband was not allowed to contact her directly and was not allowed to remain in the family home. The court also made an order in this case that the husband continue to pay the mortgage and bills until a financial order had been made in the divorce proceedings between the couple.
Acting for a husband who had been falsely accused of domestic abuse. The husband who was a professional was suspended from his employment and was only allowed to see his child under supervision. The proceedings were protracted but after a two-day trial the court dismissed all his wife’s allegations of abuse against him. He was reinstated to his employment and after separate court proceedings for a Child Arrangements Order he was allowed to see his child without any restrictions.