Domestic abuse and COVID-19 by Aaron and Partners
According to the most recently published figures on the subject, 2.4 million adults aged 16-74 in England and Wales experienced domestic abuse over the course of a year, two thirds of victims being women.
As Family Law solicitors we are acutely aware that this is already an issue with predictable seasonal spikes, with the Christmas holidays being the time when we receive most enquiries asking for urgent help in dealing with abusive situations. Unfortunately the factors which prevail at Christmas-time – such as families cooped up together for an extended period, financial stresses and drinking at home – will now be a reality for tens of million people for the foreseeable future due to the isolation measures in place to control the Covid-19 virus.
So what can you do if you are stuck with a violent, threatening or abusive partner?
If you are in imminent danger you should call 999.
If, for whatever reason, the police decide not to take action , or if they arrest your partner but do not apply bail conditions which protect you, then a Non-Molestation Order can be applied for. This imposes restrictions on your partner to prevent him/her from approaching you (and your children) and threatening, harassing and pestering you. You may also apply for an Occupation Order which could require your partner to vacate the house. Where there is an immediate threat of serious harm, these applications can be made on an emergency basis.
At the moment most court hearings are being held virtually due to the virus outbreak.
If you are experiencing difficulties with your partner’s behaviour, please contact us to discuss your options.