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Domestic abuse can be defined as an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence, in the majority of cases by a partner or ex-partner, but also by a family member or carer

If you are suffering from domestic abuse, threats or intimidation, it is possible to apply in the Court for an injunction to help protect you and stop the abuse.


There are two types of injunction:

  1. non-molestation order

  2. occupation order


A non-molestation order prohibits the Respondent from using or threatening violence against the Applicant or the Applicant’s children, or intimidating, harassing or pestering the Applicant. It can contain very specific provisions depending on the particular type of harassment happening to the Applicant.


In deciding whether to make an order, the court considers the health (mental and physical), safety and well-being of the applicant or any relevant child.


It must be satisfied that there is evidence of molestation and that the applicant or children need protection from the court. 


Molestation involves any form of physical, sexual or psychological molestation or harassment that has a serious impact on the health and well-being of the applicant or any relevant child. Molestation is not only defined as violent behaviour, it may be other forms of behaviour.


An occupation order sets out who can live in the family home (or certain parts of it) and can also restrict someone from entering the area surrounding a home. An occupation order does not affect each person’s financial interest in the home, simply who can live in it.


The court applies different tests depending on the relationship status of the people involved and whether the applicant has any legal right to occupy the home.  The process is quite complex and I will be able to help you understand what applies in your situation.


When considering either a non-molestation order or an occupation order, it is possible to give undertakings, which are binding promises to the court, instead of having the court make an order. The difference is that breach of an undertaking is contempt of court, which can be punished by committal to prison, but it is not a criminal offence and no power of arrest can be attached

If you need an urgent appointment me with to discuss matter, please do not hesitate to contact me 

If you believe you are in immediate danger, dial 999 and ask for the police. 

Further resources can be found on my resource page

Domestic Abuse and Family Homes

Michael Lawless

Michael Lawless


01424 300 013

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