April 21, 2020
We have sadly seen a dramatic increase in domestic abuse cases across the UK since the Government placed the country in lockdown. This has been due to the fact social distancing has made it even more difficult for victims to get enough time away from their abuser to ask for help. Refuge has reported a 25% increase in calls to the National Domestic Abuse helpline since the restrictions started. Vulnerable individuals, therefore, need more support than ever to help remove them from increasingly volatile situations.
Alleviating these concerns and supporting the vulnerable has been a key focus for the government who have recently granted £2 million towards the effort. The Government have also issued recent exceptions in their guidelines which allows victims to find safe accommodation and a much-needed relief from hostile environments. This also provides an opportunity for individuals to seek the support of a solicitor who can ensure victims receive immediate help by issuing an emergency application to the Court.
With a lack of physical access to the Courts, it is vital that victims understand that there are alternative options and the Court system is still functioning. The alternative application process will involve a telephone hearing. These can prove to be difficult to navigate without support.
It is also crucial that support refuges and advice centres are aware and are able to signpost domestic abuse victims to expert solicitors who are able to seek the implementation of a court injunction. These include Non-Molestation Orders and Occupation Orders which seek to prevent an abuser from causing further harm or removing the abuser from the family home. To find out how to make such an application, please do not hesitate to contact us.