Protect yourself against Domestic Violence

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15 August 2014

Protect yourself against Domestic Violence

The Police have recently been given some additional powers to deal with the perpetrators of Domestic Violence.  Greg Cross explains how this works to protect those who are victims of domestic violence.

Available since June of this year, a Domestic Violence Protection Notice can be issued by the police to provide emergency protection to an individual believed to be the victim of domestic violence.  This notice, which must be authorised by a Police Superintendent, contains prohibitions that effectively bar the suspected perpetrator from returning to the victims' home or contacting the victim, similar to traditional bail conditions.  This notice may be issued to anyone aged 18 or over if the Police Superintendent has reasonable grounds for believing that;

  • The individual has been violent towards, or
  • Has threatened violence towards an associated person, and
  • The notice is necessary to protect the person from violence or a threat of violence

If there is an alleged breach of the notice, the police will arrest the suspect and hold them to be brought before the court within 24 hours.

Within 48 hours of the notice being issued the police will apply to the court for a Domestic Violence Protection Order.  The magistrates can make the order if two conditions are met;

  1. The court is satisfied that, on the balance of probabilities, the perpetrator has been violent towards or has threatened violence towards the victim.
  2. The court thinks that the making of the order is necessary to protect that person from violence or a threat of violence.

The order can remain in place for no longer than 28 days, but it is another tool available to the police to provide protection in circumstances where there might not be "sufficient evidence" to charge a perpetrator with a criminal offence.  The hope will be that this can be a quick and effective short term remedy where the victim can feel safe whilst seeking longer term protection through the Family Courts by obtaining a Non-Molestation or Occupation Order.

If you need any advice or assistance on obtaining protection from an abusive partner please contact our Greg Cross who has a wealth of experience in dealing with domestic violence related matters.