If you are in an abusive relationship, the Court can provide you with assistance in the form of a Non-Molestation Order. A Non-Molestation Order is a Court order forbidding a person from using or threatening violence, harassing, pestering and/or intimidating another. This sort of order can also include a provision not to attend at a particular property or within a certain radius and can be extended to cover any children, if necessary.
Breach of this order is a criminal offence and the police would have the power to arrest the person breaching the terms of the order.
Questions and Answers
What constitutes abuse?
The Courts recognise that there are many different forms of abuse. This can be physical, emotional, verbal even sexual or financial. In essence a person who is made to feel intimidated, belittled and/or controlled on a regular basis is potentially a victim of domestic abuse.
How quickly can I obtain a Non-molestation Order?
The Courts are very strict in granting a Non-Molestation Order as they are very restrictive orders. In some situations, it may be necessary for a letter before action to be sent prior to taking Court action. This would consist of a letter warning the abusive person of their behaviour and making them aware of an intention to apply to the Courts for an order if the behaviour continues.
In some situations however, it is not always appropriate to forewarn an abusive partner and in more severe circumstances, it is possible for an urgent application to be made to the Court on the same day, without giving the abusive person any notice.
Is there legal aid for Non-Molestation Orders?
Yes. Provided you are eligible on your income and capital, there is legal aid available for this type of order.