Injunctions available if you have suffered domestic abuse include:
- non-molestation orders
- occupation orders
- restraining orders
- injunctions under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997
Non-molestation orders and occupation orders are only available if you are being abused by an ‘associated person’. An associated person includes:
- your spouse or civil partner or former spouse or civil partner
- a cohabitee or former cohabitee
- someone you have had an intimate relationship with for some time (even if you have never lived together)
- the parent of your child
- your parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, niece, nephew or cousin
- a person who you have shared a house or flat with (but not if they were only your landlord, tenant or lodger)
- If your abuser is not an associated person you may be able to obtain an injunction under the Protection from Harassment Act.
These orders can prohibit physical violence and also threats, harassment and intimidation.
You can apply for a non-molestation order even if you intend to continue the relationship and live under the same roof.
These orders can regulate who lives in the family home following any relationship breakdown but are most often made where there has been domestic abuse.
An occupation order can:
- prohibit your partner or former partner from entering your home or coming within a certain distance of your home
- order your partner or former partner to let you back into your home if they have excluded you
- make provision about who pays the rent or mortgage on the home
Restraining orders and harassment injunctions
The Protection from Harassment Act 1997 creates specific criminal offences relating to harassment.
The harassment must have occurred on at least two occasions before you can take action using this law.
As well as violent acts, harassment can include texts, phonecalls, letters, emails, comments or verbal threats. It could also include someone standing outside your house, driving past your home or following you.
If your abuser is prosecuted, the criminal courts can make a restraining order to protect you even if there is not enough evidence to convict your abuser of an offence.
If they are not prosecuted, you can apply for an injunction through the civil courts. You can apply for this type of injunction whether or not the person abusing you or harassing you is an ‘associated person’
Family Court Applications
- Divorce applications
- Child arrangement matters
- Prohibited step applications
- Care proceedings