What is domestic violence?
Domestic violence can take many forms but whatever form it takes, there are processes in place to protect the victims.
Most people assume that the only form of domestic violence is physical and verbal abuse. Whilst this is probably one of the more serious forms of domestic violence, there are more silent forms which may not be so obvious. Examples of other forms of domestic violence include financial control as well as emotional abuse and control.
Who can help you?
The first port of call for many people is a report to the police. The police are trying hard to train their officers in dealing with the sensitivities of domestic violence. However, the world is not perfect and training takes time and needs to be consistent. With limited resources, it is not always possible to achieve this.
This can mean that while the police may be able to assist in the more serious cases of domestic violence, they may not be able to help everyone. In those cases, there is other protection available.
A victim may issue injunction proceedings and seek either a non-molestation order or an occupation order or both. Due to the urgent nature of these issues, injunction proceedings are emergency processes and the Court makes time in its timetable to deal with the applications swiftly. In the most urgent cases, an emergency order can be obtained from the Court on the same day and in the less urgent cases, orders are still usually made within 14 days.
How can you help yourself?
If you are victim of domestic violence, it is really important to report the issues to the police, even if they are not able to ultimately help you. It is important that there are records of the reported incidents.
If appropriate, you should also see your GP and explain what has occurred. Medical records can often assist if you have to make an application for an injunction order.
What if false allegations are made against you?
Of course there may be times when a person makes false allegations of domestic violence against you. They may do this for a number of reasons.
If such an allegation is made against you, it is important to see a solicitor as quickly a possible. The solicitor may be able to take some damage limitation steps. An early start with the solicitor may also allow the solicitor to take the initiative in resolving matters to your advantage.