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Practical information for those at risk of domestic abuse

View profile for Emma Walker
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"Divorce Day"

It’s that time of year again when the festive period is upon us. Sadly, instances of domestic abuse and violence increase significantly over this period.

If you are concerned about a family member or loved one who you believe is at risk of domestic abuse, urge them to contact their local police force and ask about ‘Clare’s Law’. This allows an individual to seek information from the police as to whether or not someone has any history of domestic abuse and violence. This gives the person making the enquiry the ability to assess whether or not they are likely to be a risk at any time, but particularly over the Christmas period.

If you are a victim of domestic abuse and violence then you should remember that domestic violence is definitely a criminal offence and domestic abuse, in certain circumstances, can also be a criminal offence. If you are physically assaulted in any way, or feel threatened or intimidated, you should dial 999 and ask for immediate assistance from the police.

Within the home, if you believe you may be at risk of domestic abuse or violence, then keep your mobile phone in your pocket at all times. Make sure that the abuser does not come between you and the doorway out of the room in which you are in. If matters escalate, remove yourself from the property and call the police.

It is important to remember that children also suffer the effects of domestic abuse and violence, irrespective of whether or not they are physically assaulted. If an unpleasant situation erupts, then take the children away from the home.

If you do not feel able to contact the police, then there are other organisations that will be able to assist. In North Yorkshire, there is the Independent Domestic Abuse Service (IDAS). In the East Riding of Yorkshire, there is the Domestic Violence and Abuse Partnership (DVAP) who are also able to assist.  Their contact details are provided below.

It is also important that you contact a solicitor, irrespective of whether or not you have involved the police, if you do suffer domestic abuse and violence. There are Court Orders that can be obtained to protect you such as a Non-Molestation Order (commonly referred to as a Restraining Order or Injunction) and an Occupation Order which prevents the perpetrator from attending your primary residence or entering a defined area around the property.  Both types of Order can be backed up with a power of arrest. Breach of these types of Orders are criminal offences for which the perpetrator may be liable to be arrested if they are breached. Courts take the breaches of these Orders very seriously and there is the ability to send someone to prison, if the Order is breached.

If any of these issues concern you, or you wish to enquire further as to the types of Orders the Court can make, then please contact one of our experienced Family Solicitors on 01904 558600.  We will be happy to discuss your options with you.

IDAS – 0300 011 0110 or www.idas.org.uk

DVAP – 01482 396368 or 01482 396330 : Email dvap@eastriding.gov.uk

Supporting Victims – 01609 643100 or www.supportingvictims.org