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Domestic abuse solicitors

Domestic abuse takes many forms impacting men as well as women.

In the eyes of the law, domestic abuse is any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to psychological abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse and emotional abuse.

Furthermore, the Government definition, which is not a legal definition, includes so called 'honour’ based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage, and is clear that victims are not confined to one gender or ethnic group.

We understand that for victims of domestic abuse it can be hard to see a way out, and you may be afraid to take legal or criminal action for fear of reprisals. Abusive relationships must be addressed and we can help you make the right decision in the best interests of you and your family.  Rest assured, we will only ever take legal action once you are happy for us to do so; coming to us does not mean that court proceedings will automatically begin.

What can I do if I am a victim of domestic abuse?

If you are safe or the threat is not imminent we would recommend you contact us as we can advise you as to the best option for your particular situation.  We may write to the abuser and warn them about their behaviour, or we may need to discuss with you whether we should obtain a court order to keep the abuser from threatening or harassing you, or to keep them away from your property.  The two orders typically sought are a Non-Molestation Order or an Occupation Order.

Both of these can be extremely effective methods to show the abuser the impact they are having and the consequences if they carry on with their behaviour.

What do I do in the event of an emergency where my safety is at risk from your partner?

If the risk is imminent then we would recommend you contact the police for assistance.  Domestic abuse is a criminal offence and the police may be able to take action to protect you in the short term. This can involve placing the perpetrator under arrest, putting bail conditions in place or warning them about their behaviour and suggesting they leave the property.

Once you have taken this step, or if you do not feel able to contact the police, we would then recommend you contact us as soon as possible. In urgent situations it is possible to obtain court orders within 24-48 hours to provide ongoing protection.

What about my children?

If domestic abuse is present in the home, children’s services will become involved.  If they do get in contact with you due to domestic abuse then we recommend you make an appointment to discuss their concerns and what action can be taken to reduce these. This may involve some of the options above or may involve you and your partner undertaking work to ensure the children do not come to any harm.

Who else can help me?

There are also domestic abuse organisations that can provide practical and emotional support during these processes. Some of these agencies are able to accompany you to court hearings, to provide more information about domestic abuse and some offer counselling or other services to ensure you remain safe:

Southampton Women’s Aid
Government Domestic Violence and Abuse

If you are the victim of domestic abuse and you would like advice on the best path for you, please contact us today by phoning your local office or emailing  to book your first appointment and find out how we can support you.

To speak to one of our experts please call us

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