Lincolnshire Police have released statistics to say that they have had almost 1300 cases of domestic abuse reported to them from April to October of this year. This is a very worrying statistic and there are no doubt many incidents that go unreported. It is further suggested that it will take at least 35 incidents of abuse before the victim makes their first report to the police.
Domestic abuse does not just mean physical abuse. Abuse can be financial, emotional, mental or sexual. The perpetrator may be very controlling and manipulative and will often make the victim feel that they cannot leave the relationship. It may be that the abuse has been going on for some time and the victim sees the behaviour as normal. Often in an abusive relationship the victim is isolated from friends and family meaning that it feels that there is no support network and that they cannot talk to anybody about what they are going through.
Breaking free from an abusive relationship can feel even more difficult when there are children involved. The victim may be very concerned about where they are going to live or fear the repercussions of speaking out. In some cases it may not be obvious to a third party that the relationship is abusive and there may be concern that no-one will believe what is happening. It may also be the case that the victim is concerned about how they will manage financially if they separate from the perpetrator.
Lincolnshire Police have begun a 16 day campaign to bring awareness of domestic abuse and to help individuals recognise the signs of abuse.
The law can assist people suffering in an abusive relationship. It is possible for the Family Court to grant injunction orders to assist the victim. There are two types of order available. The first is called a non-molestation order. This is an order which prevents the perpetrator from approaching the victim or harassing them, making threats or being physically abusive to them. A non-molestation order has an automatic power of arrest in the event that the order is breached.
The second type of order is called an occupation order. This order deals with who is to live in the home and can exclude the perpetrator’s occupation rights meaning that they must leave the property. There would also usually be an exclusion clause to prevent the perpetrator from being in close vicinity to the property. The court can also attach a power of arrest to occupation order to offer greater security where there has been actual or threatened violence.
In certain circumstances these orders can be applied for on an urgent basis without notifying the perpetrator of the application until after the protective orders have been made.
If you are in an abusive relationship, or are concerned about a friend or relative and wish to discuss matters further then you can contact our family team for a free initial consultation on 01522 888555.
We can also signpost you to other local agencies who can help to provide support through this time to try to help provide additional support.