Legal Options and Rights
What is an injunction?
An injunction is a court order, which forbids an abuser from doing certain things (eg contacting you) or compels them to do things (eg to leave the home). The two most common types of injunctions used in domestic violence cases are:
This type of order will prevent an abuser from harassing, intimidating or pestering you or any children who live with you (or who could be expected to live with you). The abuser does not have to have been physically abusive in order to obtain this type of order.
This type of order will establish who has a right to stay in the home. An occupation order can order an abuser to move out of the home or to keep a certain distance from the home. In order to apply for this type of order, you will need to know if you or your abuser (or both of you) is legally entitled to occupy the property.
Can I get an injunction in an emergency?
It may be possible to make an application to the court immediately without informing your abuser if you are able to persuade the court you or your children are at risk of significant harm. This type of application is called an ex-parte application. If this type of order is granted, the court will still need to hear from both parties and a date for a full hearing will be set.
What support can I get with injunctions?
It is important that you seek advice about obtaining an injunction from someone who will be able to help you understand what it will involve. The ESDAS Outreach Workers will be able to help you decide whether an injunction is the right option for you and what the next steps should be. If you would like advice and information about obtaining an injunction please call ESDAS on 01737 771350.
Rights of Women produce a “Domestic Violence Injunction Handbook” giving step-by-step advice on filling in the necessary forms which can be found at www.rightsofwomen.org.uk. Rights of Women also have a free legal advice line (0207 251 6577).
Domestic Violence Injunctions Information Sheet:
Legal Services Commission
Telephone 0845 345 4345
Legal services commission offers free legal advice on:
Legal Aid eligibility
Advice on finding a solicitor
Surrey Police & Criminal Prosecutions
What can you expect from Surrey Police?
Surrey Police have pledged to take positive action when dealing with domestic abuse incidents and have outlined their four priorities which are to:
Protect the lives of both adults and children who are at risk of domestic abuse
Investigate all reports of domestic abuse
Facilitate positive effective action against offenders so that they can be held accountable through the criminal justice system
Adopt a proactive multi-agency approach in preventing and reducing domestic abuse
If you need to call 999 the Police Response Team (aka TPT) will respond to your call. There are a list of things that they are expected to do such as speaking to you in private, checking on the welfare of you and any children at the address and completing a Risk Indicator Questionnaire (DASH - domestic abuse, stalking, harassment and honour based violence). This a series of questions that an attending officer must complete with you to help them and you understand the risks you face within your home or relationship.
The attending officers should also ask for your consent to pass your contact details onto ESDAS and Victim Support. They will then ensure that we receive details of the incident so that we can contact you at a time that is appropriate and safe. Details of the incident will also be sent to the specialist Domestic Abuse Unit within the Safeguarding Investigation Unit who will investigate the incident you reported. For further information about Surrey Police and their response to Domestic abuse please click on the link below:
What are Domestic Violence Protection Notices and Orders (DVPN & DVPO)?
The aim of a Domestic Violence Protection Notice (DVPN) and Domestic Violence Protection Order (DVPO) is to provide a victim of domestic abuse with immediate protection following an incident of domestic violence and to give the victim time to consider what to do next.
A Domestic Violence Protection Notice (DVPN) is served on an individual by the police because they are aged over 18 and the police reasonably believe that they have been violent or have threatened violence against another person and that the victim requires protection. The law allows the police to serve a DVPN on a perpetrator even if the other person (the victim) does not agree to it. A DVPN can prevent an individual from returning to the home they share with you or making contact with you for up to 48 hours. If they breach the DVPN then they will be arrested and taken before the courts.
Whilst a DVPN is in place the police will make an application to the Magistrates Court for a Domestic Violence Protection Order (DVPO) for up to 28 days. A DVPO works in the same way as a DVPN in that it is there to provide immediate short term protection to any victim by putting conditions on an individual preventing them for being abusive, violent or returning home.
Once a DVPN has been served or a DVPO granted you will be contacted by ESDAS or a similar service in your area – we are there to provide you with support and help you safety plan for the future.
For further information please read this leaflet:
What is the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS)?
The DVDS allows members of the public to request information about a potential offender.
Aim of DVDS
To give members of the public a formal mechanism to make enquiries (to their local police force) about an individual who they are in a relationship with, or who is in a relationship with someone they know, and there is a concern that the individual may be abusive towards their partner.
If police checks show that the individual has a record of abusive offences, or there is other information to indicate the person making enquiries is at risk, we will consider sharing this information with the person(s) best placed to protect the potential victim.
The scheme aims to enable potential victims to make an informed choice on whether to continue the relationship, and provides help and support to assist the potential victim when making that informed choice.
If you feel that you would like to make use of the DVDS we can support you throughout the process so please call in confidence on 01737 771350
For further information about making an application under the DVDS please read one of the following leaflets:
http://www.surrey.police.uk/Portals/0/pdf/keeping%20safe/DVDS-Surrey-Potential-Victim.pdf (for those worried they may be in an abusive relationship)
http://www.surrey.police.uk/Portals/0/pdf/keeping%20safe/DVDS-Surrey-Third-party.pdf (for those worried that someone they know or love is in an abusive relationship)
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)
Once the Police have completed their investigations, they will refer the case to the Crown Prosecution Service for advice on how to proceed. They will then make a decision on whether a suspect should be charged, and what that charge should be. The link below will take you to the CPS website and information on the CPS Protocol for dealing with domestic abuse.
If the CPS feel that there is sufficient evidence to prosecute, the perpetrator will be charged and given a date to attend the Specialist Domestic Violence Court (SDVC) which operates on a Thursday morning at Redhill Magistrates Court. These courts cluster and fast track domestic violence cases. All court personnel are trained in domestic violence and the courts are supported by a qualified Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA) who works out of the local outreach team.
The job of the IDVA is to support you through the criminal justice system by explaining the proceedings and keeping you updated on court decisions at the 1st hearing, subsequent bail and admin hearings and then after the trial at sentencing. The IDVA will contact you before the first hearing to explain what is happening, to discuss the situation and to hear your concerns. As they attend court, they are able to provide information to the court about your situation if you wish and can deliver court results, information on bail conditions and restraining orders and sentences to you on the day of the court.
If you have separated from your partner due to their abuse and violence you may be concerned about how you can safely deal with contact issues.
Common concerns can include:
Who will your child or children live with?
Is it safe for them to have contact with your ex partner?
How can any current and/or future contact with your ex partner be done in a way that is safe for them and for you?
Do you need to attend court to arrange contact?
If you would like advice about your rights and options in relation to any child contact concerns or issues please call and speak to one of the ESDAS Outreach Workers on 01737 771350. We can help you decide what you want to do and can refer you to experienced Family Law Solicitors if required.
Divorce & Separation
Even if you have experienced domestic abuse and violence within your relationship, taking the decision to separate, get divorced or dissolve your civil partnership can be difficult and complex. It is important that you seek advice and support about the best course of action for you, either through a Solicitor experienced in domestic abuse issues or through a specialist service like ESDAS. The ESDAS Outreach Workers are happy to talk you through your rights and options so please call them on 01737 771350.
Get further information on your rights and options here
or contact ESDAS on 01737 771350
When you do not know the whereabouts of your ex-partner and therefore are unable to issue proceedings against them, this form is used for the court to locate your child so that your application may proceed
When making an application and you wish your address to be kept confidential from the other party due to concerns about domestic violence or other factors which would cause you distress, this form should be used.
If you have an order which is not being complied with, this is the appropriate form to use to make an application to enforce your order.
This is the form to use when making an application for Residence, Shared Residence, Contact, Specific Issues or Prohibited Steps Orders and Parental Responsibility.
This form is used in conjunction with the C100 where there are allegations of abuse against the children.
Used to make an application for a Non-Molestation Order or Occupation Order
Used when making an application for a Financial Remedy
This form is used to provide full disclosure of your financial position, and will be ordered by the court as an element of the financial remedy procedure.
Used at a financial remedy hearing to show your costs
This form is used when lodging an appeal against an existing order.
Use this form to apply for an exemption or reduction on the court fee due to being on a low income or in receipt of benefits.