Domestic Violence

What does Domestic Violence really mean?

Domestic violence can be mental and/or physical and it is very destructive for both the victim and children of the family. No one should have to live in fear of their partner. One in four women suffers abuse from their partner. If you are the victim of such abuse it is possible to obtain an injunction preventing your partner/spouse from being abusive or violent to you and also to remove them from your property.

Women’s Aid provide a useful guide as to what constitutes an abusive relationship as follows:-

Destructive criticism and verbal abuse

Shouting; mocking; accusing; name calling; verbally threatening.

Pressure tactics

Sulking; threatening to withhold money, disconnecting the telephone, taking the car away, taking the children away, or reporting you to welfare agencies unless you comply with his demands; threatening or attempting suicide; withholding or pressuring you to use drugs or other substances; lying to your friends and family about you; telling you that you have no choice in any decisions.

Disrespect

Persistently putting you down in front of other people; not listening or responding when you talk; interrupting your telephone calls; taking money from your purse without asking; refusing to help with childcare or housework.

Breaking trust

Lying to you; withholding information from you; being jealous; having other relationships; breaking promises and shared agreements.

Isolation

Monitoring or blocking your telephone calls; telling you where you can and cannot go; preventing you from seeing friends and relatives; shutting you in the house.

Harassment

Following you; checking up on you; not allowing you any privacy (for example, opening your mail), repeatedly checking to see who has telephoned you; embarrassing you in public; accompanying you everywhere you go.

Threats

Making angry gestures; using physical size to intimidate; shouting you down; destroying your possessions; breaking things; punching walls; wielding a knife or a gun; threatening to kill or harm you and the children; threatening to kill or harm family pets; threats of suicide.

Sexual violence

Using force, threats or intimidation to make you perform sexual acts; having sex with you when you don't want it; forcing you to look at pornographic material; forcing you to have sex with other people; any degrading treatment related to your sexuality or to whether you are lesbian, bisexual or heterosexual.

Physical violence

Punching; slapping; hitting; biting; pinching; kicking; pulling hair out; pushing; shoving; burning; strangling.

Denial

Saying the abuse doesn't happen; saying you caused the abusive behaviour; being publicly gentle and patient; crying and begging for forgiveness; saying it will never happen again.

 

Women and men can be the victims of domestic violence and the law will act equally to protect either. Firstly you should report the matter to the police who may be able to help and can in some situations help you make an application to the Court if criminal proceedings cannot be taken.

If the Police cannot help you then I can assist in taking the matter to court on your behalf.

Unfortunately I do not undertake work on a public funding basis so if you are on a low income you should always investigate whether you may be entitled to this. It can be granted on an emergency basis if necessary.