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Aims, Policy & Practice

National Centre for Domestic Violence

NCDV was established in 2002 in Lambeth, South London
(originally named the London Centre for Domestic Violence).

Why we provide our service

Before the Centre was operational, the Police and victims faced two problems when using local firms of solicitors
to obtain non-molestation orders. Generally, solicitors were only willing to accept clients that were either eligible
for public funding or clients who could afford to pay privately, thus leaving all those people ‘not eligible’ with no
access to funds, unprotected.

The other main issue was that solicitors were taking between two days and two weeks to get the client into court
and obtain the order.

We were convinced that victims of domestic violence and abuse could be daunted by the vast amount of various
legal agencies offering to assist. We saw the need for a one-stop-shop where the concerns of those in an abusive
situation could be addressed in their language and on their terms. Furthermore this streamlined service, could
and should be free and accessible to everybody.

A free, fast support service

Our service is targeted at the rapid relief of domestic violence and abuse. The majority of cases referred to us will
result in speedy action in the civil courts, but, we are also able to advise on those services providing alternative
refuge accommodation and on legal protection for children caught up in abusive or failing relationships.

The service works as follows:

  • There are two central numbers both of which are monitored 24-hours a day.
  • Full details are obtained with a high priority being given to respect for the wishes of the survivor.
  • Centre staff then advice as to the range of remedies available (most of which will be part of one or more of the
    Family Law Act 1996). Again, we view reassurance as an important aspect of our approach. Many survivors will
    not have experience of the civil courts and many fear them. The availability of without-notice orders is
    explained and can alleviate understandable concerns of reprisals by the perpetrator.
  • Once a client has indicated their preference for a particular remedy, the necessary witness statement is
    prepared and eligibility for legal aid assessed
  • Clients qualifying for public funding are thereafter referred to a solicitor on the Centre’s Panel of solicitors. Our
    relationship with Panel solicitors is such that clients will rarely need to make an additional journey to the solicitor,
    with most meeting theirs for the first time at court on the day of the hearing.

Protection irrespective of financial circumstances

Those whose income or capital takes them above the threshold for public funding can be provided with a Mckenzie Friend to assist in drafting the relevant paperwork and making the application in Court.

As to timing, the Centre aims to get cases to Court on the first working day after initial contact. In cases of extreme urgency (involving risk of child abduction for instance) the Centre is conversant with the procedure for obtaining and enforcing orders out of usual court hours. In any event, clients will have been familiarised with the whole court experience as part of the initial advice that NCDV provides. The Centre can also offer practical assistance with getting to court if such is required. Centre staff have access to a qualified lawyer 24 hours a day, 365 days a year should they encounter circumstances beyond their own experience and expertise.

To provide this service NCDV continually train law students from universities and training centres throughout the
country. In addition we run specialist training courses for numerous Police forces and government agencies
throughout the county.

Our Aim: Protection for All, Now

Thus far, the Centre’s success has been beyond all expectation. Clients have achieved the protection and security they desire and have been able to start down the long road of recovery from abuse without having been further traumatised by the procedures necessary to obtain protection. Nonetheless, there is no room for complacency when dealing with those who have been downtrodden or violated, and we encourage clients to share with us their views as to how the service may be further enhanced. Thus we, together with our clients and the agencies with whom we work are on a voyage towards a safer, happier future.

NCDV will evolve with the challenges we meet but offers no compromise in our key aim: to be the vehicle by which violence and abuse are banished from the lives of our clients, and a companion for them on their journey to recovery and reassurance.

What People Say

NCDV Average Rating
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Apr 13, 2015
METROPOLITAN POLICE, Tiffany Lockiby

Very quick response. Order in place. Victim happy.

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Apr 13, 2015
WorldShapers, Lillian Andreasen

I have now used your site twice and am very very impressed with the support you have given. It has happened very swiftly, and the impact of this on the victims have been amazing. One guy-victim was overwhelmed that the call from you happened even before I had left his… Read more

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Apr 07, 2015
Survive, michelle ruse

I find the NCDV an indispensible asset to my idva service as frewuently I have women who cannot get to solicitors quickly and so rely on your UK wide telephone support and applications for orders

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Mar 25, 2015
Student social workker, Lisa

Never knew this existed, what a great idea staff do a brill job well done

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Mar 19, 2015
Bromley Children's Social Care, Macalla

I am so impressed with this service! I have made many referrals the NCDV and not only have they been able to assist many of my clients, they do it with incredible efficiency and keep me updated every step of the way. 100% recommended.

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Mar 17, 2015
Family Action, Victoria Gibson

NCDV is a brilliant and valuable service for those who are vulnerable and at risk of DV. The service my client received was compassionate, extremely efficient, and effective. It has empowered her to take control and feel more confident with dealing with domestic violence. I would like to thank and… Read more