Unfortunately domestic violence does occur and this is something that we take very seriously. No individual should have to fear for their safety or the safety of their children. Domestic violence includes both physical and mental abuse as well as threats and intimidation from a family member. It can be a one-off incident or a pattern of behaviour over many years.
Domestic violence often constitutes criminal assault. If the situation is serious and you or your children are in immediate danger then you should contact the local police station immediately and seek their assistance. The police are under an obligation to treat domestic violence and abuse seriously and cannot simply dismiss the matter as a “domestic incident.”
As well as bringing (or sometimes instead of) criminal charges it is often possible to obtain a civil court order (also known as an injunction) to exclude the abusive person from your home or other property (this is called an occupation order) or to prohibit the abusive person from carrying out further abuse (this is called a non-molestation order).
Effects of breaching a non-molestation order or occupation order
The breach of a non molestation order is a criminal offence and the police should immediately arrest anyone who is alleged to have breached such an order. Anyone found guilty in criminal proceedings of breaching a non molestation order could be imprisoned for up to five years. A breach of a non-molestation order can also be enforced through contempt of court proceedings.
If a power of arrest is attached to an occupation order and the order is breached the police should arrest the offending party and present him to the Court to be dealt with.
Our Family Law Team