Domestic Abuse & Injunctions
Domestic abuse is a blanket term, covering any form of abuse that a person has suffered at the hands of a family member or someone close. Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse; from elderly citizens to young children. Victims are often made to feel that they are to blame for the abuse and as a consequence they may not recognize that they are being abused. Abuse is experienced at all levels of society regardless of age, race, sexuality and wealth.
In certain cases, people who suffer through domestic abuse have been doing so for so long that they simply accept the situation and allow it to continue.
Brendan Fleming Solicitors are able to handle your case sensitively and confidentially providing a UK wide service, we can act quickly on your behalf to give tailored advice and apply for the appropriate protection for you and your children.
If you or your children are in immediate danger, or have been threatened, please call 999.
As well as physical violence, domestic abuse can take many forms such as emotional abuse, psychological, financial abuse and sexual abuse.
The government definition of domestic abuse is “Any incident of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimidate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality”.
Brendan Fleming Solicitors can offer legal advice on the different injunctions available, depending on your circumstances, that can offer you and your children protection if you are a victim of abuse.
Injunctions are Court Orders telling a person not to do something or telling them to behave in a certain way.
Normally domestic abuse injunctions prohibit one person from using or threatening violence against their partner/family member and from communicating with them in any way. These types of injunctions are called non-molestation orders.
It is also possible to obtain a non-molestation order to protect a child form abuse from a member of their family but the courts will also consider whether there are other ways they can help protect the safety of children.
Domestic abuse injunctions can also order a person to leave a house or forbid them form going to their ex-partner’s/family member’s house or street where they live. These are called occupation orders.
A forced marriage is a marriage that takes place without the full consent of one or both parties. This includes cases where a person does not understand what they are consenting to, whether due to physical or cognitive difficulties.
This should not be confused with an arranged marriage. Forced marriage is internationally recognised as an abuse of a person’s human rights and cannot be justified for cultural or religious reasons. It may be considered a form of domestic abuse and child abuse.
Force marriage can mean:
- That threats are made, this can take the form of physical and/or sexual violence
- Financial abuse
- Emotional and psychological abuse, for example, if a person is made to feel like they are bringing shame on their family
If you are concerned that you or someone you know is being forced into marriage or is at risk of being forced into marriage, speak to a family solicitor as soon as possible. There are things that can be done and legal processes put in place to protect people from marrying against their will.
A Forced Marriage Protection Order (FMPO) issued by the Court is one way of safeguarding a person who is about to be, or has been forced into an unwanted marriage. A FMPO can impose restrictions on the people who would try to force you to marry. Breaching a FMPO is now an offence punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
It is now also a crime to force someone to marry. If a parent is found guilty of forcing their child to marry they may be imprisoned for up to 7 years.
We have solicitors that are children's panel accredited and therefore can represent those under the age of 18 that may be affected by forced marriage. We can also provide advice to those that have been accused of forcing someone into marriage, including where you have been served with a Forced Marriage Protection Order.
Legal aid is available in some circumstances, where Legal Aid is not available we are able to give you a quote for the likely cost of the proceedings.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
Female Genital Mutilation (‘FGM’) is the practice of deliberately cutting a female’s genitals without medical reason. This practice is illegal in the UK and has been since 1985. The law was updated in 2003 with the introduction of the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003. This also provided for a maximum custodial sentence of 14 years’ imprisonment for anyone convicted of FGM offences.
The practice of FGM was brought within the remit of the family courts in 2015 by the introduction of the Female Genital Mutilation Protection Order (‘FGMPO’). The purpose of this order is to protect potential or actual victims of FGM; the girl herself can apply for an order, or a third party (such as a Local Authority) can apply to the court for an FGMPO.
Legal Aid may be available for court applications relating to FGM, if you have any queries or concerns in relation to the above issues, then please contact us to sensitively and confidentially discuss this with you. Our solicitors are passionate about this area of law and can represent both parents (‘adult respondents’) and children within these proceedings.
Contact our experts and tell us about your case