Domestic violence

Domestic violence, according to our sister website, Inside Divorce, is one of the key reasons for marriage break-ups. One in five marriages have experienced it and, contrary to common belief, it is not always confined to men. If there is an emergency, you can contact the police by dialling 999. You can talk to Women’s Aid which offers help and support which has about 250 refuges in the UK.

Can the police help?

The police now are keen to prosecute and many police stations have community safety units where men and women officers, with special training, are able to give assistance and advice. Police officers are now instructed to treat domestic assaults as criminal offences and to prosecute where necessary. Domestic abuse can also be dealt with under the civil law without charging the abuser with a criminal offence. A new law makes it a crime to breach a civil injunction, giving the police the power to arrest the culprit immediately.

The courts can also decide who stays in the family home and if it is very serious abuse, can grant an occupation order so that the abuser must leave the home.

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