News article published on: 24th June 2014
If your partner is harassing or threatening you or has been violent towards you then your first port of call should normally be to report the matter to the police. They usually have a dedicated domestic violence department who may be able to assist you. The police may decide to question your partner, charge him or her with an offence or, if it is less serious, they may give him or her a warning instead.
You may also be able to apply to the family court for an injunction (a non-molestation order) which will prohibit your partner from harassing, pestering or intimidating you or from using or threatening violence. Provisions can also be included to prevent him or her from contacting you or going near your home. In certain circumstances it may be appropriate to apply for this order on an emergency basis which means that it would be done without notice to your partner. They would then have an opportunity to put forward their side at another hearing.
In certain circumstances, the court also has the power to make orders relating to the home where you and your partner live or were living (an occupation order). This could include an order that your partner must leave the home or that you should be allowed to return to it. You would need to show the court that such an order is necessary.
If you think you may need any orders for your protection then you should take legal advice as soon as possible in case emergency action is needed. You may be eligible for legal aid to apply for the relevant order.