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SKU: 8.35


  • Introduction

    Abuse in a household, also known as domestic violence is an incident, or a pattern of incidents between those who are 16 and over, who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of your gender, sexuality and ethnicity. Domestic abuse encompasses psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional abuse. 


    Protecting a vulnerable adult

    If someone you are worried about falls under the remit of a vulnerable adult, they can receive protection under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and another relevant jurisdiction. Examples of this would include someone with a learning disability who may not be able to understand the apparent abuse they are suffering, and someone with a mental disability who may not understand the violence they are inflicting. You can contact their responsible medical practitioner, if the threat to themselves or others is imminent you should contact your local police.


    To help them, a medical assessment will be carried out to conclude whether they can make decisions for their welfare as well as the safety of those around them. If found to be the case, a court order will be sought to place the person in question under professional protection and care.


    Domestic violence

    If you or someone you are worried about may be facing domestic violence, and are hesitant to seek help, these statistics should put things into perspective

    • Domestic violence is the largest cause of death in women aged 19-44;
    • 30% of domestic violence cases begin during pregnancy;
    • 90% of those killed knew their attacker;
    • 26% pf domestic abuse cases are against men; and
    • During 2016 a total of 113 were killed, of these 78 women were killed by their current/ former partner and 65 of those women were killed in their own home or the home which they had shared with the perpetrator.


    What can be done?

    Contacting your local police authority and filing for a restraining order is the first step to ensure your safety. Non-molestation orders can be applied to prevent the perpetrator from any form of physical contact. If you or the person you know lives with the perpetrator you can apply for an occupation order, this means that the court may find it appropriate to make the abuser leave the premises. You may then take your case to court, the abuser could be found liable for various offences, including ABH, GBH and assault.


    Police involvement

    Factors taken into account when deciding to prosecute are:

    • Your police records and other possible information;
    • Previous allegations against you (if any); and
    • The types of people you spend your time with.


    In cases where your child may be suffering from medical issues and the harm was by way of this, you will need specialist medical advice. Local authority staff have a duty to do what is best for your child. By Co-operating with social workers, you are helping to protect your child. The court could decide that if the child is not by way of any harm, family support services should be put in place. This will be done to help you keep your child safe and healthy.


    What to do if arrested

    If you are arrested then you should not feel compelled to help the police obtain a nice quick conviction. In such situations, you have a right to inform someone of your arrest. More importantly, you have a right to access free independent legal services when you request them. If this is ever in doubt, inform the police officer that you are allowed help under Section 58(1) of the Police and Crime Evidence Act 1984. Moreover, if you are eventually interviewed in the absence of legal services, you should remember that you neither have to answer the question posed to you nor can you be compelled to do so. You can simply choose to stay silent.


    It is worth noting that once you request legal representation, you cannot be interviewed until you have access to suitable representation. Also, if you are already being interviewed after indicating that you did not require legal advice, once you request for it, even during the interview, the police will have to postpone the interview until you have been given the advice.


    Whilst in custody you have certain rights:

    • To get legal advice;
    • To tell someone where you are; and
    • To get medical help, and to see a copy of the rules the Police must follow (Codes of Practice).


    After being arrested we would strongly advise you to simply confirm your details and not rise to any of their quips or questions which are designed to solicit an admission of guilt, hence making their quest for a conviction a lot easier, instead simply state that you will not answer any questions until you have received legal guidance. Remember, simply saying “sorry” is classed as an admission of guilt, if you give an investigating officer the slightest chance, they will exploit it to the maximum.


    If you cannot afford legal representation, you will be offered free and independent legal advice, however, you should not assume that the duty solicitor appointed for you will keep your details private, after all, they have the same paymaster and the solicitor will be extremely familiar (and thereby friendly) with the police officers and not want to cause them any inconvenience. In our opinion, this creates a dangerous situation as regards legal confidentiality. Our representatives are totally independent and would not disclose any part of your conversation with them to the police. If you are seeking alternative legal help, we strongly suggest you use a private solicitor and do not rely on the duty solicitor for reasons already stated.


    How we can help

    We would suggest that you inform the police that you would like professional representation at the very earliest convenience, getting representation after you have already given (or been tricked into) a confession (or terms that may be interpreted as such) causes a multitude of problems. To gain our assistance you need to open a case, this is done by taking advantage of our free consultation service, activated by the link at the top of the page, should you wish to start a case the caseworker will send you the suitable payment link.


    Your caseworker would immediately assign someone to meet with you as soon as possible. Because we are internet-based, we may not have our own actual solicitor in your area and may have to use a local one who is expertly qualified in his field. Their costs for attending may be more than our standard charge, if this is the case then your caseworker will discuss this with you. The solicitor will guide you through all aspects of the arrest and would not carry the same risks to you as using a duty solicitor.


    Please note your caseworker can only give generic advice, their role is to prepare your details for handling by our legal team and to act as your point of contact, they will also issue you with your Password and PIN, these will be needed to log onto your client dashboard. 

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