Surge in Court Orders for Domestic Abuse During Lockdown

Unforuntely there were a record 8,800 applications for domestic violence remedy orders registered in England and Wales between April and June 2020, as the UK’s first lockdown resulted in a record number of people obtaining court orders for domestic abuse in order to protect themselves. This figure is almost 25% more than the same period in 2019.

The increase in domestic abuse cases is likely to be the result of victims being trapped in an environment with their abusers and feeling mentally and physically threatened and abused with no escape. One tactic of abusers is to isolate their victim. Without any access to support a victim is in a nightmare scenario of being with their abuser 24/7 with no escape.Changes in the law since April 2017, have meant that police can now “release under investigation” someone who had been previously prosecuted with abuse. This doesn’t have any restrictions on the abuser seeing their former victim, (unlike bail conditions). This may also have meant an increase of further abuse.

We are dealing with many more cases than before. We can get injunctions to stop harassment of ex-partners. We can also get Judges to make “occupation orders” to keep an abusive person out of a home.

Lockdown, changes to the law and the huge reduction of refuge places for women over the last 10 years, have all combined to create a perfect storm. Victims of domestic abuse do not have to accept their situation. For the lockdown period, I’m taking calls with no charge, to make sure victims can find out what their legal situation is and what to do about it.

Madeleine Young

 

m.young@hewetts.co.uk

Telephone Direct Line: 0118 955 9616

Published on 24/11/2020

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