Domestic Abuse Solicitors

If you’re the victim of domestic abuse, our specialist family lawyers can offer you support, empathy and understanding. As well as being immediately available on the phone, our domestic abuse solicitors can, where appropriate, help you to obtain emergency protection within 24 hours.

What is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse can be defined as incidents or patterns of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour. It can include sexual violence and in the majority of cases, by a partner or ex-partner, but also by a family member or carer.

Domestic violence can take many forms, including:

  • Physical abuse – punching, hitting, throwing, kicking, etc.
  • Emotional/mental abuse – controlling and coercive behaviour, causing you to feel scared, threatening behaviour
  • Sexual abuse – forcing you to do sexual acts you do not consent to
  • Verbal abuse – name calling, shouting, etc.
  • Financial abuse – not allowing you to access money

Our domestic abuse expertise

Head of our Domestic Abuse Department, Georgia Holmes, is on the OnlyMums & OnlyDads family law panel and works with Safe Lives to train their domestic abuse support workers.

Georgia was also Highly Commended in the Lawyer of the Year category at the national Modern Law Awards 2020 in recognition of her work helping survivors of domestic violence.

How our domestic abuse solicitors can help

Except in the case of an emergency, our first step will be to write a letter warning the other party to leave you alone. If that warning is ignored, our domestic abuse solicitors can apply to the court for an injunction. This is an order of the court that forbids the other party from acting in a way that is deemed violent, threatening or harassing.

There are two types of injunction:

  • a Non-Molestation Order
  • an Occupation Order

Non-Molestation Order

Our specialist domestic abuse team can apply for a Non-Molestation Order on your behalf. This prevents your former partner from using or threatening to use violence towards you and your children, or harassing or pestering you or your children, and coming near your property.

In deciding whether to make a Non-Molestation Order, the court will consider your circumstances, including the need to secure your and any child’s health, safety and well-being.

Breach of an injunction is an arrestable offence and you must notify the police immediately if the Non-Molestation Order is breached.

Occupation Order

An Occupation Order can also be obtained from the court. It states who can or cannot live in, visit or enter a particular home or an area around it.

This order ensures that your partner leaves your home and prevents them from living there for a defined period of time. The police can assist if necessary.

When making an Occupation Order, the court can also state who should pay the rent or mortgage, as well as transfer tenancies between couples who are or have been married or living together.

In deciding whether to make an order, the court will consider the housing needs of you and your children, the financial resources of each partner, the likely effect of the order on you and your children, and the nature of your relationship. If you or your child is likely to suffer harm because of the respondent’s behaviour, then the court must make an Occupation Order.

Our domestic abuse solicitors can prepare an application and statement for both Non-Molestation and Occupation Orders. Once you have confirmed that the contents of your statement are true, our team will ask the court to issue your application for you and we will advise you on the process from that point.

How long does it take to get an Order?

Our domestic abuse solicitors can apply immediately, or usually within 24 hours. It can take a few weeks to conclude, however.

Do I have to pay for my legal fees?

Our initial discussions are free of charge and we will discuss any subsequent costs with you in advance.

Depending on your circumstances and your financial situation, you may be eligible for legal aid to enable us to help you. You can find out more about eligibility for legal aid here.

Every referral received will be assessed urgently and a member of our domestic abuse team will contact you for more details to ensure that we are doing all we can for your protection.

Where necessary, our domestic abuse solicitors are able to meet with you the same day with a view to being in court within 24 hours for emergency applications. Where urgent applications are not warranted, our lawyers will discuss how best to protect you.

Will my ex-partner know that I’ve been to court?

Yes, but usually only after a Non-Molestation or Occupation Order is made. Our solicitors will explain the process in detail with you.

Will I have to see my ex-partner at court?

Yes, but our domestic abuse team can put safety measures in place and keep you separate from them.

Get in touch with our domestic violence solicitors in Bristol

If you are the victim of domestic abuse and need to speak to someone, contact us immediately. Call our specialist solicitors in Bristol and South Gloucestershire on 0117 325 2929 or complete our online enquiry form.

Our domestic abuse lawyers will do all we can to help, providing support throughout the process so you are safe and protected.

Useful resources for domestic abuse

In addition to getting in touch with us, there are various helplines you can call or websites you can visit. These include:

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    How can we help you?

    We’re here to help. Please fill in the form and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. Or call us on 0117 325 2929.





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