DATED: 19 JUNE 2020
Family Law expert, Curtis Wray advises on how you can seek help if you are experiencing domestic abuse.
Leaving home to escape domestic abuse
The United Kingdom has been under lockdown since 23 March 2020 and this has led to most people having to stay at home and isolate together with everyone in their household.
Regulation 6 of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 makes it an offence for a person to leave home without “reasonable excuse” and if breached is punishable by way of a fine.
Whilst government guidance confirms that individuals should be staying at home, the household isolation instruction does not apply if you need to leave your home to escape domestic abuse. Regulation 6 confirms that “Reasonable excuse” includes leaving your home to avoid injury or illness or to escape a risk of harm. Our team of family solicitors have a wealth of experience in filing applications seeking protective orders such as Non-Molestation Orders and Occupation Orders. If you wish to speak to one of our solicitors in order to have an initial confidential consultation contact us now.
For more information about Non-Molestation Orders and Occupation Orders please visit our Domestic Violence page.
Domestic Abuse Services
Domestic abuse covers a wide range of behaviour and can include, but is not limited to:
- Physical violence
- Verbal abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Coercive control
- Gas lighting
- Economic abuse
It has been widely reported that domestic abuse support services have seen an increase in calls and requests made online from people seeking help since the lockdown commenced. The Independent has reported that visits to the UK’s National Domestic Abuse Service website increased 700% in a single day in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The police have also reported a rise in domestic violence incidents which are said to be directly linked to the Coronavirus pandemic.
For some individuals the lockdown has cut off some escape routes and perpetrators of domestic abuse are using isolation as a tool of control. Unfortunately, self-isolation has the potential to aggravate pre-existing abuse behaviors and with the increased amount of time households are spending together this compounds the issue further.
The government have stressed that the police are still available to provide an emergency response if you are in immediate danger. If you need emergency assistance but cannot speak to the police as the perpetrator may hear you, you can still seek emergency assistance by following the Silent Solutions System. This system allows you to get emergency help from the police without having to speak. Please click here.
Due to the current lockdown, not only is there the potential for a rise in domestic abuse, but it is more likely that this abuse will be witnessed by children. Witnessing and experiencing domestic abuse can have a serious impact on a child’s long-term health. If you have concerns relating to a child potentially witnessing or experiencing domestic abuse you should make a referral to your Local Authority’s Children Service or contact the police. Our family department can be contacted if you require legal assistance or wish to discuss any concerns you may have.
Our expert Family Law team
We wish to stress that even during the current pandemic, there are many forms of support that can still be obtained, via online support sites, helplines, refuges and other services. We have put together a list of a number of institutions that provide support to victims of domestic violence. Please click here.
At Girlings, we are here to help. If you need any assistance please do not hesitate to contact a member of our Family Law Team for advice on your individual circumstances.
Before relying on this commentary please read the Reliance on information posted section in our Terms of Website Use in our Legal section. Please note that specialist advice should be taken in relation to any specific queries and the information above is provided for general information purposes only.