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Domestic Violence

Domestic Abuse & Violence

Here to Support You

If you are suffering from domestic violence, it can be extremely difficult to find a way to leave a relationship and it may be that you are required to take urgent legal action to protect yourself and your children. Our team of family lawyers are here to support you and provide you with specialist advice throughout.

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Family Solicitors in Brighton, Hove, Hassocks & Farnham

Do you need family law advice? Contact GoodLaw Solicitors LLP in Sussex and Surrey.
SUSSEX: 01273 956 270 | SURREY: 01252 471 211

Expertise to Assist You in All Aspects of Family Law

Domestic violence can be defined as any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse. This can include, but is not limited to, psychological, physical, sexual, emotional and financial abuse. We understand that acknowledging and accepting that you are in an abusive relationship is one of the hardest things anyone is able to do. Taking the necessary steps to prevent further abuse can be even harder. We are experts in advising on the issues flowing from abuse in relationships and will guide and protect you through the difficulties that you may face.

If you are in immediate danger or in fear of your safety, it is very important that you contact the police without delay on 999. The police have powers to arrest perpetrators of domestic violence and the Crown Prosecution Service may seek to bring criminal proceedings against a perpetrator of domestic violence. Since 2015, controlling and coercive behaviour is now a criminal offence and can carry a maximum sentence of up to 5 years imprisonment.

Within criminal proceedings, there is a higher standard of proof and therefore it is not always possible for criminal proceedings to be bought against a perpetrator, especially given the nature of domestic violence and that it often occurs behind closed doors.

Non-Molestation Order

You may instead wish to pursue a protective civil injunction such as a Non-Molestation Order or Occupation Order. A Non-Molestation Order is an order designed to protect you from harassment, intimidation, threats or violence and can exclude a perpetrator from being with a certain distance of you. Whereas an Occupation Order seeks to temporarily regulate who can live and stay in the family home. This order can exclude the perpetrator from the home altogether or from certain parts of the home at certain times.

A Non-Molestation Order carries an automatic power of arrest, so your ex-partner could face criminal charges if he breaches a Non-Molestation Order. Both Non-Molestation Orders and Occupation Orders can be applied for without notice to the perpetrator, which means they will not be notified about the proceedings until after the order is made.

Responding to a Non-Molestation Order

Sadly, it can sometimes be the case that you are falsely accused of perpetrating domestic violence. Our family team are also on hand to provide assistance and support to you in these difficult circumstances.

If you have received an application for a Non-Molestation Order and received a court date, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. As a Non-Molestation Order carries an automatic power of arrest, it is extremely important you do not breach any order made, even if you do not agree that the order should have been made or believe the allegations to have been false as you may face criminal charges.

You may wish to challenge the Non-Molestation Order and ask for the court to determine that the allegations are false. Alternatively, you may wish to provide an “undertaking” which is a legal promise to the court that you will note pester, harass, intimidate of threaten the Applicant. Providing an undertaking does not mean that you are admitting to the allegations made by the Applicant but can save you both the stress and costs of further litigation.

For further information, please contact a member of our family team.

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