Christmas, a time of shining lights, excited children and a special feeling of magic in the air. A time for families and friends to get together and share in the seasonal spirit of goodwill or so Christmas television advertising would have us believe.
The reality can be quite different. For many, it is a time of increased stress, especially for parents trying to ensure the big day is a success; a time of extra financial worries and unrealistic and unfulfilled expectations. A toxic mix, which in some cases can lead to arguments, which escalate into incidents of domestic violence.
Whatever the causes, domestic abuse, whether physical, psychological or emotional is never acceptable and nobody should have to endure such behaviour. In many situations, the children are innocent bystanders and the effect on them can be traumatic and long term and in many instances, life changing.
What Can Be Done?
Both criminal and civil remedies are available and, in cases of serious assault and criminal damage, the police should always be the first port of call. The police also have wide powers under the Harassment Act 1997 and take all reports very seriously.
Criminal law is of course mainly concerned with punishing the perpetrator. However, civil law provides, under the Family Law Act 1996, a number of remedies to protect the victims of domestic abuse. In particular, civil injunctions may be obtained together with Occupation Orders, which have the effect of excluding the perpetrator from the family home.
How Can Howells Solicitors Help?
At Howells, we understand how difficult it is for victims of domestic violence to break free of the cycle of abuse and make that first step to obtain help. We have a number of family law specialists who are ready to lend a sympathetic ear and provide expert advice and assistance.
Legal Aid is still available to victims of domestic violence and financial constraints are therefore no bar to obtaining a satisfactory remedy.
If you require help and assistance, please contact our friendly and experienced solicitors today.