Monday May 23, 2022
The Family Solicitor team explains why the term “domestic violence” is now “domestic abuse” and how you can get help if needed.
You may hear the term ‘domestic violence’ be used often, especially when someone is seeking protection from harm from a partner or family member, but that term is actually outdated and could be stopping victims from accessing crucial support.
The updated term is ‘domestic abuse’, and it encompasses a lot more than just ‘violence’. As family lawyers, we recognise that abuse isn’t always physical, and we want to help victims to receive the help that they need. Abuse can be: physical, emotional, mental, psychological, financial, and/or a pattern of controlling and coercive behaviour.
Why does this matter? Well previously, you may have been asked to provide evidence of the physical abuse by way of photographs of injuries, or hospital records, for example, but we know that this is not always possible to do, and this shouldn’t stop you from getting protection. Now, if you have spoken to any professional about any abuse that you have suffered (for example a GP, nurse, dentist, counsellor, refuge, social worker), a letter can be requested from them to confirm that you were a victim, which can help in securing protection for you.
In addition, recent case law now means that abuse can be proved by a pattern of behaviour, not just isolated incidents. This can, in theory, mean that even if there were long gaps of time between each incident, just one recent incident can be enough to trigger an application to the court, and the victim can rely on historical abuse to demonstrate a pattern of the respondent’s behaviour.
How AFG LAW can help
We work closely with domestic abuse agencies across the North West and can help you in getting the support that you need.
If you need protection in the form of a court order, we can discuss eligibility for Legal Aid funding, and can issue urgent applications to court, if your safety demands it.
As our client, our priority is ensuring that you are protected from further abuse. If you want to speak to a family specialist, call our offices today for a confidential, no obligation talk.
Remember, if you require immediate protection from harm, call 999. Or contact our family team on 01204 920107.