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Draft Domestic Abuse Bill welcomed by Family Lawyers

The Government published its draft Domestic Abuse Bill on 21 January 2019, which aims to provide further protection and support to domestic abuse victims and their families and also provide a statutory definition of domestic abuse.  The move has been welcomed by campaigners, charities and those who work daily to protect victims of domestic abuse.

According to the Office for National Statistics, two million people experienced domestic abuse in the last year.

Domestic abuse can include physical violence, psychological, emotional, verbal and financial abuse as well as controlling, coercive and manipulative behaviour.

Not only will the Bill provide further support to victims of domestic abuse, by introducing Domestic Abuse Protection Notices and Domestic Abuse Protection Orders, it will prohibit perpetrators from being able to cross examine their victims in the Family Courts. This has long been the position in criminal cases, but will now be extended to the Family Courts.

Non Molestation Orders

Those who have suffered domestic abuse can currently apply for a Non Molestation Order in the Family Courts. This is an Order to prevent their former partner being abusive towards them, which can also prohibit all contact whatsoever between the parties. Breaching a Non Molestation Order is an automatic criminal offence, which is punishable with up to a period of 5 years imprisonment.

It is also possible to apply for an Occupation Order to exclude a perpetrator from the family home, whilst the financial and children matters are resolved.

If you require any advice in respect of the issues raised in this article, or require assistance in applying for a Non Molestation Order please contact Family Lawyer Nicola Bennetts at our Lansdowne office on 01202 294411 or email Nicola.Bennetts@absolicitors.com.

Legal Aid is available for applications for a Non Molestation Order, subject to financially eligibility.

This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.

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