Domestic Abuse, often referred to as Domestic Violence, affects countless people in the UK every year.
The law does not define Domestic Abuse, but it generally includes any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse. The abuse can take many forms, including:
Domestic Abuse affects everybody differently, it impacts both men and women in all types of relationships. Everyone’s personal story and situation is different. You could be married, partners, or ex-partners. You might have children together. You may live together or separately. You may have sought help before, or never told anyone about what is going on.
Although many of the acts that can constitute Domestic Abuse are Criminal Offences themselves (Assault, Theft, Controlling or Coercive behaviour etc), many victims never see their abusers held to account in the Criminal Courts.
Victims of abuse can apply through the Family Court for an order under Part IV of the Family Law Act 1996 to get protection. There are two types of order available:
The Police and CPS are not involved; you bring the action privately against the abuser. You are therefore known as ‘The Applicant’ and the other person is known as ‘The Respondent’.