We identify our clients’ needs and tailor our work to each set of circumstances, providing high quality, cost effective advice. We are a multi-disciplinary practice and work collaboratively to provide a comprehensive service across all of our practice areas.
Domestic abuse can take many forms and affect all types of families. We provide specialist, tailored advice to help you keep yourself and any children safe from harm.
We are also experienced in advising those who have been accused of domestic abuse.
Domestic abuse can include the following behaviour:
- Physical abuse involving violence and causing bodily harm.
- Emotional / psychological abuse which can include threats, intimidation, humiliation and manipulation.
- Economic abuse whereby the abuser limits the victim’s access to financial resources, for example by taking their income or not allowing them to work, and/or restricting their expenditure.
- Sexual abuse, where there has been non-consensual sexual contact.
- Abuse of older or vulnerable family members including through mistreatment, neglect or financial exploitation.
- Controlling and coercive behaviour where, through a pattern of behaviour often involving several types of abuse, the abuser aims to deprive a person of their independence and sense of self, isolating them and regulating their behaviour to exercise control over them.
Abuse of any type can leave you feeling vulnerable and isolated. We will work with you to help you and your children feel emotionally, physically and financially safe and supported. You may wish to involve the police and/or social services and we can advise you on that process. However, there are also steps we can take in the Family Court to provide you and your family with protection. These may include obtaining a “non-molestation order”, a flexible order which may forbid a person from using or threatening violence against you, from intimidating or harassing you, from contacting you, or other acts as relevant to your circumstances. It may also be possible to obtain an “occupation order” preventing your abuser from returning to your home, or regulating their use of your home, for a certain period, even where they own the property. Where necessary, these orders can be applied for on an emergency basis.
If you also need to resolve arrangements for children, then any domestic abuse which took place is likely to be relevant. The Family Courts now recognise that being in a household where abusive behaviour takes place is often harmful to children and that past domestic abuse can be relevant to future care arrangements.
Domestic abuse is often perpetrated through economic abuse, which can be exacerbated upon relationship breakdown. We can help you to take decisive action to help you protect your financial position in even the most complex and contentious of matters.
Attending court hearings which will also be attended by your abuser can be challenging. In those circumstances the court must consider whether “special measures” (such as measures to prevent you from seeing your abuser) should be put in place to promote your ability to give evidence and participate in the proceedings.
Finally, we can also direct you to resources providing non-legal support surrounding domestic abuse, and can recommend specialist psychological support and counselling providers. Through our partners HL Safeguarding we may be able to advise on personal and physical security where that is needed.
The following helplines may be a relevant starting point:
• The National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247
• The Men’s Advice Line for male victims of abuse on 0808 801 0327
• Galop’s LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0800 999 5428
Please contact one of our family lawyers or contact us on 020 7412 0050 or firstname.lastname@example.org for advice on any of the issues covered above.