Why SKB Law joined the Employers’ Initiative on Domestic Abuse
Earlier this year, SKB Law joined the Employers’ Initiative on Domestic Abuse (EIDA), a growing network of employers from a wide variety of sectors, working together to take action on domestic abuse. In this post we share why we joined EIDA and offer some practical advice on what you can do to protect yourself or a loved one. Remember, if there is an immediate risk to life please call 999.
Every day family courts see some of the most vulnerable in society. Last week, the Government announced a major overhaul of family courts to protect victims of domestic abuse. Reforms will see more victims of domestic abuse given access to separate building entrances and waiting rooms as well as protective screens to shield them from their alleged abuser in court. We will keep you updated.
It Can Happen To Anyone
I’ve been a solicitor for over 20 years. During that time I’ve supported lots of clients experiencing domestic abuse. I’ve seen first-hand the impact it has on families. Domestic abuse has no social or economic boundaries. It takes place at all levels of society, regardless of background or occupation. Yet, the voice of many professional women can be missing from discussions. Emma Morris, Chief Executive of trauma recovery charity SAFE, explains that many women are reluctant to access support – fearing it may have an adverse impact on their career, or go on their HR record.
Financial and Legal Protection
We joined EIDA to increase awareness, share resources and take collective action. We provide client’s a confidential space to share what’s happened and provide clear advice on their options and next steps. Every case is different. Not everyone will need a court order. And not everyone will need shelter. Depending on the circumstances, legal options can include:
- A Court Order. We’ve helped lots of clients get a court order to stop their partner’s abusive threats. Often, people need legal advice to get their home back, to end their marriage or civil partnership, or make decisions about where their children will live. If you need to stop your partner threatening you, a solicitor can help you get a Non-Molestation Order. A breach of this order is a criminal offence. An Occupation Order can make your partner leave your home or prevent them coming back to it.
- The police can issue a Domestic Violence Protection Notice. Once issued, the police can apply for a Domestic Violence Protection Order within 48 hours. This can ban the perpetrator from returning to a shared home or contacting you. If they fail to follow the Order, the police can arrest them and bring them before the court. The Order lasts for up to 28 days and gives you time to explore your options and get further support.
What if you’re not ready to leave?
If you want to leave your partner but you’re not sure when, consider planning for the situation. Three things you may want to prepare (be careful and only do this if you judge it safe to do so):
- Phone. Try and keep a mobile phone with you at all times if possible.
- Emergency Bag. Pack an emergency bag for you and your children. Include essential items such as medication, identification, clothing, money or cards. Keep it safe somewhere at home or leave it with a trusted friend or family member.
- Finances. Make a list of your assets and any joint accounts. Keep it safe as you may need this information for any future proceedings. If it’s safe to do so, open a new account in your name only and set aside a small amount of money.
Changing Child Contact Arrangements
We know child contact arrangements can cause disagreements or raise issues of control. You can find more information in our Child Arrangement Orders guide.
If You Need Advice
Our team is here to provide confidential advice. We offer everyone a free 30 minute call (our team can speak English, Urdu and Punjabi). The courts are open and prioritising domestic violence applications the same day or within a few days (via telephone or video link).