LEGAL EAGLE: How to get help to stop domestic abuse

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I have been in a relationship with my fiancé for five years, we moved in together about a year ago and we were really happy. He lost his job around six months ago and since then his behaviour and attitude towards me has changed. He physically attacks me, shouts at me and tries to control me and I am afraid of him, I feel like I cannot speak to anyone as if he finds out he will beat me and shout at me. I am very scared, I am feeling low and I don’t know how or where to get help?

This sounds to be a very difficult and upsetting position that you are in.

It is important for you to know that there is help and support available to you.

In this situation it would be safer for you to leave the property.

If you feel that you are unable to go to your family or friends for support, you could always seek the help of a refuge. A refuge would be able to support you and may be able to offer you a safe place to live.

In legal terms you may be eligible for the protection of a Court Order.

It would therefore be advisable to seek legal representation as soon as possible. You may be able to then apply to get the protection of a non-molestation order. As you have lived with your boyfriend for a year you would therefore meet part of the criteria for a non-molestation order.

A non-molestation order is a protective order that will stop whoever it is made against from being able to do certain things to you or to get others to do or say things to you.

A non-molestation order can be made in specific terms or they can be more general. This type of order will stop the person who it is made against from being able to continue to abuse you both physically and or verbally or come where you may reside.

It will also prevent them contacting you through another person.

If this order is made by a court it will usually offer you protection for one year. In this time if the person that the order is made against does try to breach the terms of the order and tries to abuse you then you can telephone the police and they can then arrest the person who is named in the order.

l Ben Hoare Bell LLP has several specialist Solicitors that can advise you on issues such as domestic abuse. We can also put you in touch with local refuges who may also be able to help. To speak to a Solicitor ring 0191 565 3112 or email advice@benhoarebell.co.uk. For further information visit www.benhoarebell.co.uk.