Legal & emotional advice, support and assistance are readily available – read on. 

Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone and is often overlooked, excused, denied or ignored, particularly when the abuse is psychological rather than physical. Often abusers are thought of as men, or more so within heterosexual couples, but this is not necessarily the case. Men suffering from abuse from their female partners and abuse within same sex couples can be just as common.

It can take someone who is being subjected to violence and abuse a long time to build the courage to leave their abusive partner because abuse is generally a form of control exercised over someone by another and can be a gradual process. Admitting or accepting that you are in an abusive relationship can be incredibly daunting. Leaving your abusive partner can be even more daunting, fearing that you will be unable to cope alone or be strong enough to live without that person. Unfortunately for some, they feel too alone and helpless to break away and need help to make a fresh start away from an abusive relationship. It is common to feel guilt and shame. It is also common to think you deserve to be abused. Once you take the step to leave, there are people who can help you.

If you want to leave an abusive relationship, there are many options available to you, legally, and emotionally. Firstly we set out your legal options, with which we can assist you:

INJUNCTIONS

An injunction is a Court Order preventing someone from doing or not doing something, such as coming into contact with you or being excluded from the home you share. There are two key types of injunctions under the Family Law Act, namely:

Occupation Order 
This can exclude an abusive partner from the home (or part of the home) you share together, a particular location or within reason, the radius of a property or street. You would need to attend Court to obtain an order.

Non-molestation Order 
This can order that an abusive partner (or ex-partner) refrain from using or threatening violence towards you or your children, from harassing and pestering you, and from coming into contact with you.

Short notice applications such as these can be costly if you are not entitled to legal aid, however, if you are serious about leaving your partner, it is essential that you take this step and, to avoid wasted costs, follow through with your actions. It can be a huge step and, aside from us as your solicitor, there are many organisations available to assist, advise and support you through this turbulent time.

These include:

Firstly, it is important to emphasise that if you are in immediate danger, call 999. 

For women 
Refuge
http://refuge.org.uk/

Women’s Aid
http://www.womensaid.org.uk/

24 hour helpline for both organisations: 0808 2000247

For men 
Men’s Advice line and enquiries
http://www.mensadviceline.org.uk/mens_advice.php
Help for men experiencing domestic abuse from their partner, in heterosexual or same-sex relationships.
0808 801 0327

The Mankind Initiative 
http://www.mankind.org.uk/
01823 334244

Survivors UK 
Advice and support for men who have been raped or sexually abused
http://www.survivorsuk.org/
0845 1221201

For perpetrators
Respect
0845 122 8609
http://www.respect.uk.net/
This organisation provides information, advice and assistance to help people who wish to stop their abusive behaviour towards a partner.

For children 
NSPCC
http://www.nspcc.org.uk/default.html
0808 800 5000

Childline
http://www.childline.org.uk/Pages/Home.aspx
0800 1111

General advice and assistance 
Citizens Advice Bureau
http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/

Reunite
UK charity that specialise in preventing and advising upon child abduction.
http://www.reunite.org/

Relate
Relationship counselling, mediation and advice/support
http://www.relate.org.uk/home/index.html
0845 130 4010

Upcoming Seminars and Programmes 

For help to those who are abusers within a relationship and wish to seek help and advice, Relate have collaborated with Respect (national association for professionals working with individuals to end abusive behaviour) to present a seminar addressing the use of violence in close relationships. See the below link for further details of this seminar, which takes place on 18 October 2010 from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm at Shire Hall, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 0EH. There is a small charge for the seminar.

Additionally, see the below link for details of the ‘Essex Change’ programme which is lasts for 32 weeks and helps men to take responsibility for their actions and offers them skills and support to end their abusive behaviour.

If you do wish to discuss seeking an injunction, contact Melanie Townsend or Tanya Foster on 01992 892214 to make a confidential appointment to discuss your situation. It is never too late to seek advice. You do not need to act upon such advice until you feel you are ready to do so.

The above contact details and organisations are correct as at the date of the posting of this blog. We accept no responsibility for the information you obtain or are unable to obtain as a result of links or telephone numbers provided for other organisations. These are merely provided to help you as far as possible. 

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