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In the majority of situations the answer is yes, it really can.
An injunction is a powerful court order (non-molestation order) that prohibits an abuser from using or threatening violence against you, or harassing, pestering or intimidating you. If the order is breached, the police can then arrest that person immediately. Read more
They are particularly useful when, having responded to your 999 phone call, the police find little evidence that warrants the arrest for a criminal offence. Sadly the police’s hands can be tied by the high burden of proof of the criminal law that often prevents them from being able to remove the abuser right then. An injunction allows for this arrest to take place much easier however, so you have the confidence and peace of mind to know the legal system is on your side.
The feedback from survivors also suggests that the mere existence of an injunction can have a dramatic effect on the abuser’s behaviour. For the first time an abuser will see that ‘other people’ are involved and there will be serious consequences if the abuse continues. This new time and space can then give you the confidence to take control of the situation again and rebuild your life abuse free.
NCDVs service is offered 100% free of charge, we have never charged a victim and we never will.
There may however be certain costs that need to be considered for an injunction application, such as possible contributions towards your legal aid or, for those ineligible for legal aid, a court application fee and process serving costs. All such fees are in no way related to NCDV our service is free and any costs will be explained to you in full.
We do not charge to see or speak to anyone, whatever their income.
We always conduct a rapid means test and it is surprising how few people do not qualify for a Legal Funding Certificate. If your disposable income is too much we can introduce you to a firm of solicitors who are happy to accept stage payments for the work they do. In addition, we can also act on your behalf as a ‘McKenzie Friend’, for which we make no charge.
Our main concern is your personal safety and we will endeavour to help you secure this.
We will not judge any decision you make if, for example, you prefer to wait several weeks before making an injunction application. We would however be doing you a disservice if we did not explain the possible legal implications this may have. This is because, yes, time is an issue at law. To make an emergency application there will usually need to be a recent use or threat of violence within, at the most, the last seven days (this may be different if, for example, someone has been in hospital for several weeks prior to making an application or there have been bail conditions for the last month).
This means that an application for an emergency injunction, which is asking the Judge to exercise their ‘emergency powers’, must be made as soon as possible. The law does not say ‘as soon as conveniently possible’ because this is inconsistent with an emergency. Of course, the benefits of obtaining an injunction sooner or later are self-explanatory – you have a stronger case and legal protection much quicker than otherwise.
This is sometimes not a problem and there may be other reasons that would still warrant an emergency injunction application.
The most common reasons are when someone has been in hospital, or the abuser is has been serving a prison sentence or released with bail conditions following an arrest. When there has been a significant period of time since the last incident, there are two options.
First, NCDV could draft a warning letter for you, requesting the abuser to stop their unacceptable behaviour immediately.
Secondly, NCDV could help you make an ‘on notice’ application for an injunction. This is exactly the same as an emergency injunction except for the procedure used. Whereas you are able to obtain an emergency injunction on the same day you first go to court, without the abuser knowing anything at all, an on notice application means being given a future court date when the injunction application will be heard with both yourself and the abuser present. The injunction would have the same powers attached to it and the police could arrest immediately on breach.
Our main concern is your protection and welfare, so it is not a problem if you choose to take no further action with us. We will of course discuss your decision with you to make sure you feel safe and secure, so please make sure you call to let us know. If you change your mind, simply get back in touch and we will pick up your case from where we left – no one will judge you for having changed you mind.
Yes, if it is appropriate a prohibited steps order could prevent someone from taking a child away from your care and control.We are able to help you apply for one of these orders in the same way we can help with other injunctions, so please contact NCDV as soon as possible.
We are here to help you but you can help us by keeping us informed of any changes in your circumstances. If you have a voicemail, text message or email asking you to call us, please do so as soon as conveniently possible.