Domestic Violence

Much to the relief of victims and supporting agencies, in December 2010, the Government announced £28,000,000 worth of funding to help those affected by domestic violence over a 4 year period. This means that support agencies will be better able to plan their activity, focusing their time and energy on support for victims. The Government has also introduced the “Go Order” scheme, which will allow Senior Police Officers to take the decision to banish an alleged abusive partner from the home for an initial period of 48 hours. Initially piloted in 3 areas, a Magistrates Court can, on application, extend the “Go Order” to 28 days. Breaches could lead to Contempt of Court charges.

On average, 2 women a week are killed by a male partner – around a third of all female murder victims. More than a quarter of the female population in England and Wales have experienced domestic abuse since the age of 16, around 4.5 million women. Repeat victimisation accounts for two thirds of all incidents of domestic violence and more than a fifth of victims have been abused more than 3 times.

The Cycle of Domestic violence can sadly begin at any stage of the relationship and may continue once the relationship is ended. It may take many forms, physical violence, bullying, threats, intimidation, verbal or mental abuse or extreme humiliation. There are no class or gender barriers, it happens in affluent as well as disadvantaged families and it happens to men as well as, more usually, exceptionally vulnerable women or children. Domestic violence can arise in other family relationships as well as it cuts across all boundaries of age, race, disability, sexual orientation and lifestyle.

In the first instance you should always consider advising and fully reporting any relevant incident to the police, as in addition to criminal remedies, this is likely to assist and support your civil claims and your civil rights of protection. The Main Civil remedies are:-

Non Molestation Order

This is put in place to stop your spouse or former partner from harassing you or threatening to use violence against you or your child. This is commonly called an Injunction or order Against Harassment.

Occupation Injunction

This enables you to achieve or regain occupation of your home via the exclusion of a spouse or former partner. The Court, however, expect action to be taken quite quickly from the events which are complained of and so you need to come and see us urgently ideally within 24 hours if you are experiencing any form of violence in your home.

If a Non Molestation Order is broken, this is in fact a criminal offence and the police have the power to arrest a perpetrator simply for breaking the Order and bring them before the Court.

An Occupation Order can have a Power of Arrest attached to it, allowing a Police Officer to arrest an opponent for breaking or breaching the Order. The Legal Services Commission now view these cases as a priority so Emergency Legal Aid or Public Funding will be available to meet legal costs.

With any issues or problems with Domestic Violence or Abuse contact our Specialists:

Jane Williams at our Cardiff Office

Suzanne Thomas at our Penarth office


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