If you or your children are experiencing harassment or domestic abuse, we strongly recommend that you seek legal advice as a matter of urgency.
We appreciate that advice is often sought in very difficult circumstances, and we aim to help and support our clients with compassion and efficiency; we are responsive in a crisis and can take immediate action to ensure the safety of you and your loved ones.
Every case is different but you should think about taking the following steps:
- Report any incidents to the police
- Go to your GP if you have been assaulted
- Ask a trusted friend to take photographs of any injuries
- If abusive messages are left on your telephone, then keep the messages
- Make diary notes so that you can recall the dates and incidents
These can all be important pieces of evidence if you decide to apply to court for protection.
Domestic violence is a criminal offence, as is harassing someone. Although historically the police have been slow to intervene in “domestic disputes”, they now take the issue of domestic abuse far more seriously than they used to and are more likely, in appropriate cases, to prosecute or serve a harassment notice.
If you are unable to resolve your situation by reporting it to the police, we can give you advice about applying for injunctive relief through the civil courts.
An injunction will usually be granted for a specified period of time to give you time to sort out arrangements for your separation in the long-term. If an injunction is breached, the perpetrator can be brought before the court and may be fined or sent to prison.
There are two types of injunction available in the Family Court, a non-molestation order and an occupation order. Both can be obtained as a matter of urgency and, in exceptional circumstances, without the other person being informed of your application until after the court order has been made and served on them.
A non-molestation order prohibits the other person from using or threatening violence, or being abusive, harassing or pestering you. Such orders carry an automatic power of arrest should the other person breach the terms of the order in any way.
An occupation order is an order that limits and defines the occupation of your home. It can prohibit, for example, the other person from coming into your bedroom or it can exclude the other person from the home and area that you live in altogether. The fact that the other person is the legal owner of that home has no bearing on such orders.
Additionally, there is the option of applying for an injunction under The Protection from Harassment Act.
We can advise you as to the most appropriate course of action to protect you and your family.
We are also able to refer our clients to outside agencies for support and assistance having built up a network of specialist therapists and counsellors in the area of relationship breakdown over many years.