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Family Law

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6 minutes reading time (1163 words)

Dealing with domestic violence

Dealing with domestic violence

As experienced Family law Surrey Solicitors we are here to help if you find yourself suffering as a victim of domestic violence.

We are on hand to help to protect both you and your family and can help you make the right decisions and obtain the correct injunctions etc. to keep you all safe. 

Every single person, irrespective of sex, colour, religion etc. has the right to live without fear for their safety from anyone.

What is domestic violence?
Currently there is no legal defintion of domestic abuse, however the Government defines domestic violence as:

Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. This can encompass but is not limited to the following types of abuse:

  • Psychological abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Financial abuse
  • Emotional abuse

Controlling behaviour is: a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.

Coercive behaviour is: an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.

This definition, which is not a legal definition, includes so called ‘honour’ based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage, and is clear that victims are not confined to one gender or ethnic group.”

Breaking down the above definition shows that domestic violence is not just classed as physical violence alone.  Domestic violence is any form behaviour, of which the purpose is, to gain power or control over a partner, spouse, girl/boyfriend or family member.  Domestic violence is any incident, or multiple incidents, of controlling, threatening, violent, coercive (a pattern of intimidation, degradation, isolation and control with the use, or threat, of physical or sexual violence) or degrading behaviour which includes sexual violence.  In the vast majority of cases this will be within a relationship environment and carried out by a current partner or by an ex-partner, but can also be perpetuated by family members or carers. Domestic abuse can also include, financial abuse, harassment or stalking, emotional abuse, or online/digital abuse. It is a sad statistic that women are far more likely to experience incidents of domestic abuse than men, however men can also be victims and it can be much more difficult for a man to seek help from such a crime for fear of being seen as weak - there is NO shame in seeking help from a domestic violence situation whatever your sex - it is still a crime and the perpetrator needs to be brought to justice!

Domestic abuse can also include family violence, covering such abuse as forced marriages, female genital mutilations, or so called 'honour crimes', all of which are illegal in the UK.  These types of abuse will usually involve several perpetrators and as these will usually be close family members it can make it incredibly difficult for the victim to report.  Domestic violence can happen to anyone irrespective of their colour, religion, sexuality, class or race and anyone experiencing it is advised to seek help urgently.  As a leading Family law Surrey solictor we are best placed to help you with your situation and to help you to protect both you and your family.  We feel very strongly that everyone has the right to live without fear for their safety from anyone.

If you can answer 'yes' to any of the below questions, or if you have ever felt afraid of your partner, or changed the way you behave because you are worried how they will behave towards you, then you could be in an abusive relationship and we would urge you to seek legal advice urgently.  These questions are not exhaustive.

Emotional abuse, does your partner ever;
Accuse you of flirting?
Isolate you from your friends and family?
Put you down or belittle you?
Stop you from going out to work or study?
Tell you who you can/cannot see?
Tell you what you can/cannot wear?
Blame you for the abuse, or deny it is happening altogether?
Control YOUR money and not give you enough to purchase essential items?

Threats and intimidation, does your partner ever;
Harass or follow you?
Threaten to kill, hurt or maim you in some way?
Read your emails, texts, letters or any other correspondence?
Deliberately destroy things that belong to you?
Threaten to kill themselves, or your children?
Invades your personal space constantly, by standing over you etc?

Physical abuse, does your partner ever;
Physically restrain you in any way?
Throw things either at you, or in general?
Slap, punch or hit you?
Push you around physically?

Sexual abuse, does your partner ever;
Pressure you to have sex?
Hurt you during sex?
Make unwanted sexual demands?
Pressure you to have unsafe sex, i.e. not using protection?
Touch you in a way you do not want to be touched?

If you find yourself as a victim of domestic violence or abuse, then our experienced team of Family law Surrey Solicitors here at Gregorian Emerson Family Law Solicitors can help to protect both you and your family. You will find us both sensitive and understanding when dealing with your situation. And as we have had many years of handling a wide range of domestic abuse cases over the years, you will find us best placed to help you to resolve your own personal situation as swiftly as possible for you. You do not need to go through this alone, we are here to help you.

Our team of Family law Surrey legal experts can help you in a number of ways. These can include:
Working with you to protect your children from harm.
Applying for a court order to stop a person coming near to or entering your home.
Applying to the court for an order to protect you from violence, the threat of violence, or harassment.
Arranging a divorce from an abusive or violent partner.
Resolving any financial issues.
If you do not wish to deal with your partner directly yourself, then we can act on your behalf and negotiate your financial affairs and your childcare arrangements for you.

Rest assured we will be on hand to help you through the process and any legal decisions you will need to make.  We can help to put you in touch with any other agencies etc who specialise in domestic abuse and who will be able to offer you additional support through the process.  All communications with yourselves will be completely confidential and we will never put you in a position of compromise.

Contact us today for any Family law Surrey issues of domestic violence or abuse questions you may have on 01483 826 470 and let us help you TODAY.

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