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Friday 03 April 2020

Safeguarding Vulnerable People

How a non-molestation order can protect adults and children

Following the rapid development of the Coronavirus outbreak, how we’re living our lives has changed dramatically, with many households practising social distancing and social isolation.

While the measures introduced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson have been encouraged in a bid to prevent the spread of the virus, the increased time that people are subsequently spending at home can have a detrimental impact on the vulnerable, with both adults and children being subjected to domestic abuse daily.

Last year, Childline had a total of 19,847 counselling sessions for children based in the UK; the young people attending sessions were being subjected to prolonged abuse in their own homes. Such was the nature of the abuse being recorded, that one in twenty of the sessions resulted in referrals to external agencies.

In many instances, cases of child abuse go unnoticed and perpetrators aren’t brought to justice. In fact, around one in seven adults who called the National Association for People Abused in Childhood’s (NAPAC’s) helpline in the latest year had not told anyone about the abuse that they had suffered in their youth.

Additionally, annual research conducted by the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) indicated that an estimated 5.7% of adults aged 16 to 74 years (2.4 million people) experienced domestic abuse throughout 2019.

Could Domestic Abuse Increase During Coronavirus Pandemic?

It’s not unusual for people who are being subjected to abuse to spend as much time away from their place of residence in pursuit of solitude, albeit temporary.

However, with the population being given strict instructions to stay at home and avoid unnecessary contact, as per government guidelines, this increases the levels of danger being posed to those who are exposed to harm.

Unfortunately, the inference would imply that there is a distinct possibility that domestic abuse could well increase during the current pandemic. Nonetheless, Eclipse Legal Services offer services that can be executed in a bid to offer protection from such cases, with non-molestation orders a potential option that could be explored to negate the influence of abuse in a person’s day-to-day life.

How Can Eclipse Legal Services Help?

Non-Molestation Orders

There are no circumstances whereby abuse is acceptable. If an instance materialises whereby your partner is abusive to your child or yourself, then the authorities must be notified immediately.

Moreover, it’s essential to protect children who are being subjected to abusive behaviour from any future harm. In applying to the courts for a non-molestation order, this documentation offers protection from the guilty party and significantly protects adults and children against the probability of future misdemeanours.

What is a Non-Molestation Order?

A specialist form of injunction, a non-molestation order acts as a preventative measure against an abusive partner or ex-partner from treating you and/or a child in an abusive manner.

If the subject harms you or your child psychologically, physically, or subjects either of you to harassment or intimidation, then they will have compromised the terms of the order and will be liable to arrest and possible prosecution.

Who Can a Non-Molestation Order Offer Protect Against?

Non-molestation orders are used as a common means of seeking protection from an abusive individual. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • A spouse or ex-spouse
  • A civil partner or previous civil partner
  • A fiancé(e) or ex-fiancé(e)
  • Someone with whom you are living or used to live with
  • The parent of a child and/or children
  • An ex-partner
  • Any family member

If Terms Are Broken, Can the Offender be Jailed?

A non-molestation order is a serious legal document. Therefore, if the terms of the document are breached, then the perpetrator will be committing an arrestable offence.

Following their detainment, the authorities are empowered to imprison the individual for a period of up to five years.

Is a Non-Molestation Order Permanent?

There isn’t a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach that can be applied to non-molestation orders - while some documents expire after a fixed period, others can be introduced that are designed to offer infinite protection.

However, the consensus tends to be that the terms outlined within the document will remain in place until it’s cancelled by another court order. 

Does the Offender Need to Know About an Application?

Understandably, there are many circumstances whereby a victim may be deterred from lodging an application for a non-molestation order, in fear of how the offender may respond.

However, a new application can be made without informing your partner of your plans to do so; this is a legal entitlement known as ex-parte.

In circumstances whereby an application is made without informing the other party, then this can elongate the process slightly. This is because a further hearing may be ordered by the court, in which counterevidence can be presented by the opposition.

Eclipse Legal Services serve a wide range of documents for our clients, in addition to non-molestation orders, many of which can offer protection in adverse circumstances. Call 0800 999 2099 to speak with a member of our specialist team to discuss the full range of services available.

















 

 

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