Domestic Abuse in Lockdown
ASHLEIGH SPENCER >
Head of FamilyMon 8 June 2020
If you are experiencing domestic abuse during lockdown you are not alone.
Both men and women are currently in abusive relationships whilst in lockdown with their partners.
What organisations can assist you?
Refuge, the charity who runs the UK domestic abuse helpline has reported that during lockdown calls to their helpline have risen 66% and visits to their website are up 950%.
London Metropolitan Police reported that calls to them regarding domestic abuse rose by about a third in the first six weeks of lockdown and 4000 arrests had been made.
A program called ‘Safe Spaces’ has been put in place where women can go into pharmacies and some supermarkets to privately access help. You can ask to use a consultation room and whilst in there can access domestic abuse helplines and other resources.
Male victims of domestic abuse can contact mankind for specialist support.
It can be difficult to access support whilst in lockdown with your partner, but it is important that you know there are services which are accessible 24 hours a day
If you are concerned about your safety you can call 999 and ask the Police for help.
What legal assistance can we provide?
If you do not want to call the Police you can apply to the family courts for a non-molestation order. This is an injunction to protect you from the behaviour of your partner. We can help you to apply for a non-molestation order.
This type of order generally lasts 1 year to begin with and then, if you still need the protection of the order, you can apply to extend it prior to the non-molestation order expiring.
You can also apply for an occupation order at the same time as the non-molestation order. If this is granted, this will order your partner to leave your home and not return.
If the non-molestation order or occupation order is breached by your partner you can call the police and they will arrest your partner and deal with the breach. If your partner is charged with a breach of the orders this could result in a criminal record.
You may be entitled to legal aid to help pay for your solicitor to represent you in this case, you can check this here.
Domestic abuse is against the law and you are entitled to call the police if you experience violence or abuse that is used by your partner to control you or exert power over you. This can include domestic abuse without violence such as emotional abuse, and this can be just as destructive as violence.
If your partner is doing any of the following, then you may be experiencing domestic abuse:
- Checking your movement.
- Being excessively jealous and possessive.
- Stopping you from having contact with your family and friends.
- Constantly criticises you.
- Puts you down in public.
- Plays mind games with you making you unsure of your own judgement.
- Controls your money.
- Frightens and intimidates you.
- Blames you for their own behaviour, or you alter your behaviour because you are frightened of them.
It is important that you understand if you are experiencing domestic abuse, that this is not your fault and you are not alone. Domestic abuse can affect anybody.
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