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When you are suffering from domestic violence the most important thing that you want to sort out is that you are protected. Furthermore if you have children living in the same house, it becomes even more important for you and the welfare of the children for the violence to stop.
Whilst ringing the police is the first call for most people, the majority of the time they can only provide temporary measures unless the violence becomes serious.
In order for you to get protection that lasts then you will require an injunction against the individual responsible for the violence.
Remember that you do not have to suffer physical violence to obtain legal protection. If you are being harassed verbally, over the telephone etc then you are still able to obtain protection.
There are different types of injunctions that you can obtain:
This is an order which prevents someone from residing in the same household as you. These orders can be extended to restrict the person from entering into a specific area, for example, within the vicinity of your home.
Such an order is granted if there is risk of violence to the applicant and or any child, if the abuser is left to remain in the same household.
This order can even be made by an applicant who has no right to reside in that particular home.
An occupation order usually lasts for a specific period which can be between one month to a year, and a power of arrest can also be attached to this order. This means that if the order is breached the person will be arrested.
A non-molestation order may be sought to protect an individual and/or the children from being physically abused by the offending spouse or partner.
People that may apply for this order are:
A power of arrest can be included in the order, which means that if the respondent breaches the terms of the order, he or she would be arrested.
We can attend Court on your behalf without informing the person whom you want the injunction placed.
The order will take immediate effect and will be served upon the individual and at the local police station.
This is often a very serious/sensitive area of the law and only those fully versed in this area may be relied upon to achieve a positive outcome.
Frequently asked questions
What is domestic violence?
Domestic violence is a pattern of coercive, controlling behaviour that can include physical abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, sexual abuse or financial abuse (using money and financial tools to exert control).
Domestic violence is a pervasive, life-threatening crime that affects millions of individuals regardless of age, economic status, race, religion or education.
High-profile cases of domestic violence will attract headlines, but thousands of people experience domestic abuse every day. They come from all walks of life.
Batterers make it very difficult for victims to escape relationships. Sadly, many survivors suffer from abuse for decades.
It's important for survivors to know that the abuse is not their fault, and they are not alone. Help is available for those who suffer from domestic violence.
Why do victims sometimes return to or stay with abusers?
A better question is, "Why does the abuser choose to abuse?"
The deck is stacked against the victim when confronted with leaving or not.
Abusers work very hard to keep victims in relationships.
There is a real fear of death or more abuse if they leave.
In fact, a victim's risk of getting killed greatly increases when they are in the process of leaving or have just left.
We, as a community, must do more to ensure the safety of victims when they leave.
Batterers are very good at making victims think that the abuse is their fault. Victims often believe that if they caused the violence, they can also stop it.
Victims stay because they are made to think they cannot survive on their own, financially or otherwise. Often abusers create a financial situation that makes leaving nearly impossible.
Survivors sometimes want the abuse to end, not the relationship.
A survivor may return to the abuser because that's the person she/he the survivor fell in love with, and she/he believes that persons promise to change. It's not easy for anyone to let go of hopes and dreams.
Do abusers show any potential warning signs?
There is no way to spot an abuser in a crowd, but most abusers share some common characteristics. Some of the subtle warning signs include:
Any one of these behaviors may not indicate abusive actions, but it's important to know the red flags and take time to explore them.
Is it possible for abusers to change?
Yes, but they must make the choice to change.
It's not easy for an abuser to stop abusive behavior, and it requires a serious decision to change. Once an abuser has had all of the power in a relationship, it's difficult to change to a healthy relationship with equal power and compromises.
Sometimes an abuser stops the physical violence, but continues to employ other forms of abuse – emotional, sexual, or financial. Some abusers are able to exert complete control over a victim's every action without using violence or only using subtle threats of violence. All types of abuse are devastating to victims
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