Fact Sheet - Violent Conduct
Q My partner is violent to me. He doesn’t like it when I answer back, sometimes he has too much to drink and I’m really afraid of him. What can I do?
A – First of all if he assaults you or puts you in fear you should call the Police. If a criminal offence has been committed he may be arrested or they may well advise you to get a court order known as an Injunction.
Q – What’s that?
A – It’s an order of the Court restraining him from harming, threatening or harassing you. It will also say that if he does he could be liable to be arrested and face imprisonment.
Q – By the time I get to Court there won’t be much of me left.
A –You need to go to a Solicitor immediately after any incident as the Court has power to make a “without notice” order giving you the protection you seek without your partner being told about it first.
Q – How does that work?
A – If there’s time your Solicitor will fill in a form and obtain a statement from you about what happened. You will go to Court that day time permitting and wait for a Judge to see you. If it is felt you are in danger an immediate order will be made and served on your partner. If it is serious enough, the court can order your partner to leave the home or be arrested if he refuses.
Q – Is that it?
A – No. It is only fair that both parties should be heard, so your partner will be given an early court date to go back to put his point of view.
Q – What happens then?
A – In many cases things have calmed down and your partner, faced with the costs and knowing the facts may offer the Court a promise known as an undertaking to comply with the Injunction. If an undertaken is broken, that can lead to imprisonment so it is a very serious promise to the court not to do something, such as cause you harm or enter the home. Most cases are dealt with by undertakings, avoiding the need to face your partner in a court room.
Q – Suppose he won’t co-operate and does it again?
A – Then he will be arrested and have to answer to the court for his conduct.
Q – Does this only apply to married people?
A – No. People close to you or with whom you have been close are known as “associated persons” and can be dealt with in the same way. Orders can also be made to protect children of a relationship as well, even if their parents are not married.
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