Find a service

T. 0114 276 5555

EU Wide Protection Against Domestic Abuse

Share this page:

Following an overwhelming majority the European Parliament has now voted to endorse the European Commission’s proposals to give victims of domestic violence EU wide protection.

EuropeThe legislation, when enacted, will enable women in particular to rely upon an injunction obtained in their home country wherever they are in the European Union. Commenting on the vote on the 22 May, EC Vice President Viviane Reding, the EU’s Justice Commissioner, said;

“An estimated one in five women in Europe suffer some kind of violence at least once in their lives. Sadly, the most common form of physical violence is inflicted by someone close to the woman, usually an intimate partner… Thanks to the European Protection Order, victims of domestic violence … will be able to rely on a restraining order obtained in their home country wherever they are in the Union. The protection will travel with the citizens”.

Domestic abuse can take many forms whether actual or threatened. It can be physical, emotional, psychological, financial or sexual and occur in a range of relationships and regardless of ethnicity, religion, age, sexuality, disability or lifestyle. The affects however can be equally profound both for the victim and any children of the family.

It is estimated that two women are killed as a result of domestic violence every week, a statistic that has largely unchanged over the last 15 years. Many incidents are not reported to the Police and of those that are the response can be varied as highlighted following the recent investigation into the death of Maria Stubbings by her former partner.

Although Maria Stubbings had made repeated reports to the Police, the Independent Police Complaints Commission found that there had been a catalogue of errors in terms of how Essex Police had dealt with the matter.

It is important to remember that domestic abuse is never acceptable and that there are effective means of preventing this from happening whatever your circumstances.

An injunction is one such remedy and can prevent behaviour that would otherwise constitute abuse from re-occurring. The order is obtained from the court and in certain circumstances can be granted without notice on the same day. This ensures that the most vulnerable are protected by the Court before the abuser is even aware of what is happening.

There are two principle injunctions that the court can make;

The first is a non-molestation order. This injunction prevents the use or threatened use of violence, harassment or intimidation whether towards yourself or any relevant children. It can also prevent the abuser from instructing or encouraging anyone else to act in a similar way on their behalf. Breaching this type of order is now a criminal offence which could result in the abuser receiving a fine and or prison sentence.

The second is an occupation order. This order can exclude a person from living in a property which they would ordinarily have a right to occupy. It can also stop them from returning to the property or within a certain distance of it. In other circumstances, the order can be used to regulate how the property is used and which rooms for example the other person is allowed into. Where the property is rented and in joint names, the court can order the tenancy to be transferred into just one name.

It is of course possible to ask that the Court make both types of order and in certain circumstances compensation under the Protection From Harassment Act 1997.At hlw Keeble Hawson our family team has particular expertise in this area of law with a number of Resolution and Law Society accredited specialists who will be able to identify the most appropriate course of action for you to take. Please contact either Vanessa Fox, Antony Ball, Cath Degenhart or Lisa Taylor should you require any further assistance.

Legal Aid is usually available for most and if court proceedings are necessary, we can help you secure orders swiftly to stop the abuse from continuing and where appropriate have the abuser removed from the home to allow you to return or remain there safely.

Share this page:

Get in Touch