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Insights // 10 November 2020

The Rise of Domestic Abuse During Lockdowns

Solicitor Rebecca Ledgerwood, in our leading Family Law team, discusses the increase in cases of domestic abuse during the first national lockdown in 2020, with England now having entered a second, month-long lockdown.

It has been widely reported that the during the first national Lockdown earlier this year there was a concerning increase to those suffering from domestic abuse.

Based on statistics obtained from UK Police Forces, the BBC reported that there was one domestic abuse call to the police every 30 seconds between 23 March 2020 and 11 May 2020. The UN have described the shocking increase as a “shadow pandemic”.

As we embark on a second national Lockdown it is important to remember that the Family Court can make protective orders to help safeguard those suffering from abuse. 

Non-Molestation Order

A non-molestation order is an order prohibiting a person from molesting another associated person.

Examples of non-molestation orders which the Family Court can make include respondents being prohibited from:

  • using or threatening violence against the other person
  • intimidating, harassing or pestering the other person
  • telephoning, texting, emailing or contact the other person (including via social media or similar)
  • entering certain areas i.e. certain roads

Where a non-molestation order has been made a respondent commits a criminal offence if they do anything prohibited by the non-molestation order, without reasonable excuse.

Occupation Order

An occupation order is an order conferring, declaring, restricting or regulating rights of occupation of a family home.

Examples of occupation orders which can be made include:

  • requiring one party to leave the home
  • regulating the occupation of the home by either or both parties
  • excluding one party from a defined area of the home
  • declaring existing occupation rights in the home

For further information or legal advice, please contact law@blandy.co.uk or call 0118 951 6800.

This article is intended for the use of clients and other interested parties. The information contained in it is believed to be correct at the date of publication, but it is necessarily of a brief and general nature and should not be relied upon as a substitute for specific professional advice.

Rebecca Ledgerwood

Rebecca Ledgerwood

Senior Solicitor, Family Law

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