The law is very clear on your rights if you are the victim of domestic violence, abuse or harassment.
Anyone can experience abuse or harassment, regardless of whether you are a man or a woman.
What is classed as abuse?
The following are all examples of abuse
- Sexual assault including rape
Female genital mutilation, forced marriage and so-called ‘honour’-based abuse are also types of domestic violence or abuse.
What is classed as harassment?
Harassment can take a number of forms including intimidation, stalking and threats of violence. You may know your abuser or they may be a complete stranger.
Harassment doesn’t always have to be physical. You can suffer psychological harassment too. Social media and the internet or ‘cyber-stalking’ are forms of harassment and stalking, which can be equally intimidating.
What can the law do to help me?
If you are the victim of domestic violence you can apply for a non-molestation order. You can apply for this if the person who is abusing you is a spouse or partner, a family member or someone you are either currently living with or have lived with in the past.
You can apply through the courts for a non-molestation order which is also known as a non-molestation injunction.
This injunction is designed to protect the applicant from being harmed by the abuser.
The court can also make an order regarding who is able to live in your home if it is impossible for all the occupants to live together under the same roof – this is known as an occupation order.
Once a non-molestation injunction has been put in place, your abuser faces arrest if they break it.
If you need immediate protection from abuse, you can apply for these orders on an emergency basis.
If you are the victim of stalking, there is legal redress.
Stalking was made a criminal offence in England and Wales in November 2012, under the Protection of Freedoms Act.
Two new offences were introduced: stalking, and stalking where there is a fear of violence.
If you are the victim of, domestic violence, abuse or harassment, legal support is available to protect you.
If you are feeling threatened or have been hurt by a partner or former partner, it is essential that you seek help as quickly as possible.
Mackrell Turner Garrett’s Family Law team are here to help you – contact us now.