Domestic abuse: fast facts

Domestic abuse is something nobody should ever suffer in silence. But where does the law stand and what are the facts around it?

How common is domestic abuse?

According the Office of National Statistics, in the year ending March 2018 an estimated 2 million adults aged 16-59 experienced domestic abuse. Of these, 1.3 million were women and 695,000 were men. In the same year, the police recorded 599,549 domestic-abuse related crimes.

What classes as domestic abuse?

Controlling, coercive, violent, abusive or threatening behaviour. We should be clear that while some domestic abuse cases continue for long periods of time, a single isolated incident is still domestic abuse. Relationships are complex. Abuse can take the form of physical, emotional, financial or sexual, with victims often feeling dependent on their abuser.

What should I do if I am experiencing domestic abuse?

Please take immediate action. We understand it can be hard. But it is essential to keep yourself safe, and your children if you have any. Refuge can offer you advice and support services.

Where do I stand legally?

A family solicitor can help you find the right solution for your personal circumstances. A non molestation order is the most common practice, and can be made against a former or current spouse, partner or cohabitee, and certain family members.

These will prevent them from using or threatening violence against you or intimidating, harassing or contacting you. If you’re in immediate danger, you can get one immediately, with a hearing a few weeks later with the other party present.

Meanwhile, an occupation order is usual if one party wants the other to leave the property, or is refused access. This can work in a number of ways, including who can stay at the property and any exclusions.

See also  The new child arrangements orders: what are the changes?

Domestic abuse has no place in our society. A family solicitor can work sensitively with you to find what’s best for you. Please never suffer in silence.

The Lester Aldridge family team deal with these and other issues on a regular basis and are frequently instructed by clients regarding divorce proceedings.

lester-aldridge-logoIf you would like to discuss any aspect of separation, arrangements for your children or wish to protect your assets prior to getting married, contact the family team on 01202 786161 or email

About Lester Aldridge LLP

Lester Aldridge LLP is a nationally recognised law firm with offices in London, Bournemouth and Southampton. The family team are leaders in their field. Jane, Jo and Rosie are specialist family solicitors with a wealth of experience in all areas of family law from divorce to children, prenuptial agreements to the settlement of financial disputes and everything in between. These women are feisty when they need to be. But their approach is designed to reduce conflict in order to ensure the best possible outcome. They recognise that family issues can be extremely emotional and they offer access to specialist advice delivered in a friendly, approachable and understandable way designed to guide you from start to finish. If you would like an informal, no-obligation chat with Jane, Jo or Rosie please telephone 03300 539754.