We understand that acknowledging and accepting that you are in an abusive relationship is one of the hardest things anyone can do. Taking the necessary steps to prevent further abuse can be even harder. At Sherrey and Associates our experienced legal team are able to act quickly and, if necessary, can seek an order from the court to protect you and your children when domestic abuse is taking place.
Sadly, domestic abuse is very common. Anyone can experience domestic abuse regardless of race, ethnic or religious group, sex, class, age, disability or lifestyle. There are simply no boundaries.
What is domestic abuse?
Domestic abuse occurs when someone close to you, often your spouse or partner, causes you physical, psychological, sexual, financial or emotional harm. The abuse can be actual or threatened and can happen once every so often or on a regular basis.
It is a misconception that, in order for you to be in an abusive relationship, there must be physical violence. In many cases, there is no physical violence. Psychological and emotional abuse may play a huge part in the relationship.
Domestic abuse can take many forms. Other than physical violence and threats of violence, you may feel intimidated by things that are said to you by your partner or the manner in which you are treated. You may be prevented from spending time with friends or family. You may be cut off financially. You may be constantly berated by your partner at home or in front of others.
In December 2015, a new offence criminalising controlling and/or coercive behaviour was introduced. It was designed to cover the scenario where there is a pattern of behaviour – acts, assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse over the course of time which is used to harm, punish or frighten the victim or where someone exerts excessive control in a relationship, often isolating a person from sources of support. It was introduced to deal with the situation where the individual instances of such behaviour in isolation would not in themselves be sufficient to constitute abuse. If a perpetrator is found guilty, the offence carries a maximum 5 years’ imprisonment, a fine or both.
Applying to Court
If you consider yourself to be in an abusive relationship, our team of experienced family lawyers can talk you through all the options available to you. Often this will involve helping you to apply to the civil court for an injunction order. An injunction order can provide a breathing space for you to recover in the interim and make decisions about the future. It can prohibit further abuse (a Non-Molestation Order) and exclude the perpetrator from the home (an Occupation Order).