Family & Matrimonial | Domestic Violence

Anyone experiencing harassment or domestic violence needs to seek help urgently. In many cases the Police will assist if physical violence takes place. Any violent incident should be reported to the Police as soon as possible.

Initially it may be appropriate for a letter to be sent to the violent partner to warn them that if their behaviour continues then it would be necessary for the matter to be referred to the Court. In some cases a warning will be sufficient.

When necessary an application can be made to the Court for a legally binding Order which can in certain cases be made without the other person being informed of the application until the Order has been made by the Court and has been served upon them. This is known as an Injunction and is an Order to protect from further violence or harassment.

In essence there are two types of Orders that may be sought:

  • a Non-Molestation Order, which prohibits the other person from using or threatening violence, being abusive, harassing or pestering the other partner

  • an Occupation Order which is an Order whereby the court will restrict or exclude one party from the domestic property. That is generally for the health, safety or wellbeing of the other partner or the children. This Order can be made even if the violent partner is the legal owner of that property

Every case is different

Where a court is satisfied that there has been violence and there is a risk of repetition, it may grant the police a Power of Arrest, and this is endorsed on the Order which in turn means that the Police can arrest the violent partner if he or she breaches the terms of the injunction.

The court also has the ultimate sanction that if a violent person disobeys an Order, that person can be sent to prison.



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