Family Matters - Domestic Violence and Harassment       01223 415372

Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence affects men and women from all ages and backgrounds, regardless of economic or social status, race, religion or immigration status and we appreciate that speaking about it can be very difficult.

There is no legal definition of domestic violence. However the Government defines domestic violence as “…any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been in a relationship together, or between family members, regardless of gender or sexuality." This definition includes violence from family members other than the victim’s partner.

If you are being abused or threatened then you have the right to apply to the Court for what is known as a Non-molestation Injunction to protect you. The Injunction will prevent your ex-partner or partner from intimidating, harassing, assaulting or pestering you in any way or by instructing any other person to do so. Injunctions are made with a Power of Arrest attached to them which means that if your ex-partner or partner attempts to breach the terms of the Order made by the Court then you can contact the Police and they will immediately be arrested and held in police custody until they can appear before a Judge.

Occupation Orders

You are also entitled to apply for what is known as an Occupation Order which will provide you with the exclusive right to occupy your home. It will also ensure that your ex-partner or partner is not permitted to enter the property or go within a specific distance of it.

You do not have an automatic right to an occupation order. The court will weigh the potential risk of harm to you (and your children) if an order is not made against the potential risk of harm to the other person if the order is made before deciding the matter.


Harassment is a course of conduct that is deliberately intended to cause a person distress or alarm.

If you are not “associated” to your abuser then you may be able to obtain protection under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 which makes it a criminal offence to harass someone or make them fear that violence will be used against them. The PFHA 1997 enables a person who is being harassed or put in fear of violence to get a restraining order against the person responsible and claim damages (financial compensation) from them.

If you are being threatened or abused and need some advice then please contact Bridget Giltinane on 01223 415372 or email her on

If you would like legal advice then please call or email our family lawyer, Bridget Giltinane on 01223 415372 or for initial free advice or alternatively to book an initial free appointment.