Help for Victims of Domestic Violence During Lockdown
With the UK under lockdown, many of us are left worried about job security, paying our bills and even whether we have enough toilet roll. However, some have more immediate threats to contend with. Thousands of people are locked down with abusive partners, each day living in fear that the abuse may escalate.
In the year ending March 2019, an estimated 2.4 million adults aged 16 to 74 years experienced domestic abuse in the last year (1.6 million women and 786,000 men). Victims may have previously sought a little comfort knowng their partner may be going to work, or they themselves would be able to seek a little solace in attending work. However, victims are now faced with the unimaginable fear of living alone with their abuser for the forthcoming months. Many of us are unable to see friends and family, but for those are are suffering at the hands of a domestic abuser, this means that it will be harder for others to spot any signs of abuse.
Where a victim may have contacted help whilst their partner was at work or socialising, this option may have disappeared. These are uncertain times for all of us, however what is certain is that help is out there. Help for victims remains as it was. If a victim is in immediate danger, ring 999. The police will continue to respond to emergency calls. If a victim is in danger and unable to talk on the phone, they are advised to call 999 and then press 55. This will transfer the call to the relevant police force who will then be able to assist without the victim having to speak.
Victims can sometimes be too frightened to involve the police for a number of reasons. Therefore they may seek to use a civil remedy such as a non-molestation order. A non-molesestation order is an order which prevents the perpetrator harrassing or abusing the victim. A non-molestation order carries a power of arrest, so if the order is breached, the police will be able to arrest the perpetrator. Non-molestation orders can be applied for urgently and without the perpetrator being aware.
Ridley & Hall Solicitors remain open and are able to assist with non-molestation orders. The courts have issued guidance that during this pandemic, victims may not need to attend court in person. If you would like to speak with a family law specialist at Ridley & Hall Solicitors, please freephone 0800 8 60 62 65.