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.