Abusive Relationships

Posted 26th August 2014

Written by Emma Hartley

I have had several clients, approach me recently following the recent Hollyoaks’ storyline of Maxine and Patrick which has gripped the nation. 

Patrick is portrayed as an abusive and controlling partner and his fiancé, Maxine, as a victim of emotional and physical abuse. At one stage this involved Maxine being pushed down the stairs.

No matter what type of abuse someone suffers, whether male or female, within their own homes, it is considered to be domestic abuse whether the couple are married or simply cohabiting. There are options available in these types of circumstances:

Non-Molestation Order (also known as an Injunction)

A Non-Molestation Order will forbid your partner from:

(a) Using or threatening violence against you and any children of the family.

(b) Intimidating, harassing or pestering you and any children of the family.

Once your partner is in receipt of the Non-Molestation Order, they will be on notice that it is a criminal offence to breach it which will result in their immediate arrest and subject to consideration of the breach by a Court and conviction, they may be liable to a fine and or imprisonment for up to 5 years.

Occupation Order

An Occupation Order is an application requiring your partner to vacate your property.  Such an application can be made in conjunction with a Non-Molestation Order or on its own.

If the Order is granted this will prevent your partner from occupying the property.  Additional conditions can be attached to the Order such as an exclusion zone around the property and an obligation to continue to discharge the mortgage or rent.

It is important that you do something about abuse, whether physical or mental it does not stop until action is taken.  There are organisations that can help such as IDAS and there are a variety of orders available from the Court as detailed above.  Legal Aid is available for Non-Molestation Orders so long as you meet the capital requirements.

A solicitor can offer you advice in relation to the above and deal with an urgent application.  If you wish to discuss these or any other family law issues, please contact us on 01423 789050.  Newtons offer a free half an hour confidential appointment and can be flexible when needed.  We have car parking and wheelchair access.