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Domestic Abuse Lawyers

Family Abuse

 

Victims of domestic abuse frequently feel helpless. Taking action against an abuser is a huge step. However, victims of domestic abuse are protected under the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 (DVCVA) and Domestic Abuse Act 2021.

 

There are several court orders, which were expanded by the Domestic Abuse Act 2021, that can protect victims from further abuse and intimidation, including:

  • Non-molestation order
  • Occupation order.

 

Duncan Lewis is a leading provider of Legal Aid Services for victims of domestic violence and can advise on a range of circumstances, including, but not limited to:

  • Domestic violence on children
  • Domestic violence in same sex couples
  • Legal Aid for domestic abuse

 

What is Domestic Abuse?

 

The Domestic Abuse Act came into force on 29th April 2021. The aim of the Act is to increase awareness of Domestic Abuse and, provide additional support to victims. The Act provides a statutory definition of Domestic Abuse, composed of three parts:

  • The perpetrator and victim are both aged 16 or over;
  • The behaviour is abusive; and
  • They have a relationship that makes them ‘personally connected’.

 

Abusive behaviour consists of any of the following:

 

  • Physical or sexual abuse– this may include where one person carries out physical or sexual acts without consent.
  • Violent or threatening behaviour– the perpetrator does not necessarily have to carry out the behaviour, but it is still abuse if it is threatened.
  • Economic abuse– the Act explains that this means any behaviour that adversely effects the victim’s ability to ‘acquire, use or maintain money or other property’ or ‘obtain goods or services’.
  • Psychological, emotional or other abuse– abuse may be verbal and designed to affect the victim psychologically and emotionally.
  • Controlling or coercive behaviour
    • Controlling behaviour is ‘a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour’.
    • Coercive behaviour is ‘a continuing act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish or frighten their victim’.

 

Domestic abuse may involve one or more of the above – and it is vital to seek legal advice on tackling domestic abuse before the situation escalates. Duncan Lewis Solicitors aims to give people a voice. Our lawyers have extensive experience handling sensitive and complex cases, involving vulnerable individuals, whereby you can be sure you are in safe hands.

 

Further provisions within the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 are of particular significance to Family Law proceedings. These include key definitions regarding behaviour that counts as domestic abuse, relationships between parties (under the Act domestic abuse is not limited to romantic partnerships), local authority support, special measures for victims of domestic abuse in family proceedings, and prohibiting expenses for medical evidence.

 

Duncan Lewis Domestic Violence Solicitors – Legal Aid

 

Duncan Lewis offers a confidential, dedicated legal helpline for victims of domestic abuse who can assist in taking legal action to prevent further harm to adults and children in urgent cases where there is immediate risk of domestic abuse and/or child abuse.

 

Victims of domestic abuse – and parents of children who have been subjected to abuse – are usually entitled to Legal Aid if they can show that domestic abuse has occurred, or parents have received a Pre-proceedings Letter from Social Services following a Section 47 enquiry.

 

Evidence of domestic abuse may include:

  • GP letter or letter from a health professional
  • Police crime number or letter from police
  • Evidence from a housing officer.

 

Duncan Lewis can advise further on applying for Legal Aid.

 

Help for Domestic Abuse Victims

Duncan Lewis is ranked and recommended by the Legal 500 UK legal directory for its excellence in Family & Childcare work – and the Duncan Lewis team includes Advanced Members of the Law Society’s Family Panel and members of the Law Society Children Panel – so our solicitors have the necessary expertise to help victims take action to prevent abuse or harassment.

 

For confidential and expert legal help with domestic violence, call the Duncan Lewis Domestic Violence Solicitors on 03337722409.


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