Domestic Abuse

Milner Elledge have been assisting victims of abuse for over 30 years. We can help.

Domestic Abuse Lawyers Romford and Dagenham

We are dedicated to helping victims of domestic abuse and regularly have a daily presence at East London Family Court and Romford Court as well as other courts throughout Essex. Our clients come to us through Women’s Aid, Victim Support, the police and social services. This in part is reflective of our long-standing expertise in this area. We are members of the Domestic Abuse Forums. In addition, we are proud to offer Legal Aid to qualifying clients who would need to be financially eligible and have a “gateway” supporting letter. 

“Domestic Abuse" includes "Domestic Violence” but is more commonly used in family law because it covers other types of behaviour than violence alone.  This deals with “an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, cohesive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse”.  It includes psychological, physical, sexual, emotional and financial abuse. 

Controlling behaviour can arise in different forms where the effect is to make the person subordinate, dependent or isolated.  Coercive behaviour can be actual or threats of humiliation or intimidation or other forms of abuse. 

As well as physical, psychological and sexual abuse, other types of abuse include forced marriage and a child having to witness abuse. 

There are various agencies in any local area to provide support in relation to the different types of abuse and your solicitor will be able to provide information on these. 

Protection under the Family Law Act 

Various people may apply under this legislation. 

In addition to those who are married or cohabiting, the following may also seek an order: 

  • Civil partners; 
  • Someone living in the same household (though not a lodger); 
  • Relatives; 
  • Those engaged to be married; 
  • Those engaged to enter a civil partnership; 
  • Those who have had an intimate personal relationship for a significant duration; 
  • The parent of a child or with parental responsibility; 
  • Parties to the same family proceeds. 

Non-Molestation Order 

The person seeking the order as well as the Respondent must be associated as falling into one of the above categories e.g. married or cohabiting.  An order may stop the non-molestation of the associated person or a child. 

What is molestation? 

This covers many types of behaviour such as violence or threats, stalking or making nuisance telephone calls.  There has to be some deliberate conduct such that the victim is harassed.  It is not appropriate to use an order of this nature where the dispute is about family property.  Also, such an order should not be used where there is a risk to the privacy of the applicant and details are likely to be published. 

The Court will consider whether an order is needed to secure the health, safety and wellbeing of the applicant or a child. 

Harm to health is not limited to physical health. It could include pestering at home or at work, text messages or phone calls, shouting or verbal abuse, threats or physical intimidation or threats to damage property as well as acts of violence. 

How long will an order remain in place? 

A non-molestation order remains in place until a further order is made or it can be for a particular period of time. 

Forced Marriage 

In 2007, legislation came in to give specific protection from forced marriage. 

An order not only applies within England and Wales but outside of the jurisdiction.  The order can be made against any Respondent who forces or attempts to force a person to enter a marriage.  It is not limited to family members. 

It should be noted that breach of forced marriage protection order (FMPO) is now a criminal offence. 

Remedies under Criminal Law

There are criminal sanctions where someone suffers physical assault from a coercive control or harassment.  Common assault has been made an “arrestable offence” which makes it easier for the police to remove the perpetrator. Breach of a non-molestation order is also an arrestable offence. 

The police now have specialist Domestic Abuse teams. 

Where an arrest has been made bail conditions may be opposed to prevent contact or visits to the victim. 

A Domestic Abuse protection notice may be put in place by the police.  Such a notice may place conditions on a person including preventing them from entering the victim’s home or even coming within a certain distance or requiring them to leave the home.  If the perpetrator does not comply with the notice, an application can be made to a Magistrates Court for a Domestic Abuse protection order. 

Contact our Domestic Abuse Solicitors in Romford and Dagenham

Below is a list of support groups & emergency numbers in the Havering area. Don’t delay and call Milner Elledge, the leading family Domestic Abuse solicitor in Romford & Dagenham. Call us on 01708 763463 for our Romford office or 020 8984 0940 for our Dagenham office.

Don’t suffer in silence.

Support groups and services

Milner Elledge emergency 24-hour number 
01708763463

Victim Support Barking and Dagenham 
0208 595 4455 
www.victimsupport.co.uk
Police Domestic Abuse number 
0208 594 1212

Havering Women’s Aid
01708 728 759 
24HR helpline 
08082000247
Sanctuary program at London Borough of Barking and Dagenham 
www.bdduf.co.uk

ELBWO 
(African or Caribbean women) 
www.elbwo.org 
0208 534 7545
Eves Women Aid @ Barking and Dagenham 
0800 980 1993

Asian Women
(24 hours) 
0207 474 1547

Housing advice team 
0208 227 2536
London Women’s Aid 
0208 679 8848

Domestic Abuse Advocacy Service 
(National women’s aid refuge community safety unit) 
0208 217 7746
Samaritans 
08457 909090

Social Services LBBD 
(National women’s aid refuge community safety unit) 
0208 227 2915 /  0208 227 3852 
Emergency duty team 
0208594 8356
Rape Crisis 
01386 380 609 

Woman’s Trust 
(free or low-cost face to face counselling) 
0207 795 6999
Newham Asian woman’s project 
0208 552 5524

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