Hiya, my name is Sabrina Banga and I am a Solicitor in the Care Department at Waldrons Solicitors based at the Dudley office.
In February I decided to raise money for a charity called ‘Refuge’ as they help and support victims of domestic abuse that have found the courage and strength to walk away from their abusive partners.
“Refuge opened the world’s first refuge in Chiswick, West London, in 1971. It is now the country’s largest single provider of specialist accommodation and support to women and children escaping domestic violence and other forms of violence and abuse.
Refuge provides emergency accommodation through a national network of refuges, alongside many other specialist services, including the freephone 24-Hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000 247. Refuge also offers community-based outreach services, culturally specific services and a team of independent domestic violence advocates (IDVAs), which supports women at the highest risk of serious injury or homicide”.
I raised money by walking 56 miles in February that is actually 2 miles per day. I am happy to announce that I actually walked over 107 miles, go me!! I am happy and delighted that I walked over 107 miles in one month, for me personally this is a big achievement.
I chose to raise money for this fantastic charity, as my work involves supporting many individuals who have unfortunately experienced domestic abuse in their lives. I have spoken to many victims on both a personal and professional level. It is upsetting that in this day and age that there are still individuals who are exposed to domestic abuse by their loved ones, this can include their partners, their spouse, their relatives and friends.
I truly believe that nobody should experience domestic abuse and they should definitely not suffer in silence. There are a number of Charites to help individuals such as;
● Black Country Women’s Aid
● West Mercia Women’s Aid
● Victim Support
● Action for Children
● Domestic abuse can affect women, men and children.
I represent many clients who have experienced abhorrent abuse from their partners and my job is to safeguard them and apply for the appropriate orders for immediate protection, such as Non Molestation Orders and Occupation Orders, applications which I deal with on a daily basis.
I also represent the alleged abuser who may wish to contest such applications.
Unfortunately many still believe that Domestic Abuse only includes physical abuse which is incorrect. I have heard many a time individuals say “but I didn’t hit her/him”. Domestic Abuse can include but is not limited to the following;
● Emotional abuse,
● Mental abuse,
● Psychological abuse.
● Physical abuse,
● Sexual abuse,
● Financial abuse,
● Coercive and controlling abuse.
The first port of call for any victims who are experiencing domestic abuse is to report the abuse to the Police. Asking for help is the first step to resolving matters.
If you feel like you need immediate protection then an application for a Non Molestation Order can be submitted to the Family Court.
In certain circumstances an application can be submitted to the Family Court without giving your abuser any notice that you are making an application. A Judge will review the application and decide whether you require immediate protection from your abuser by granting a Non-Molestation Order.
A Non – Molestation Order is an order that prohibits an abuser from using or threatening physical violence, intimidating, harassing, pestering or communicating with you. An order can also prevent your abuser from coming within a certain distance of you, which can include your home address. An order will also prevent your abuser from instructing or encouraging others to do any of those actions that are contained in the order.
A Non – Molestation Order is usually granted for six to twelve months however this is determined by the Judge. If the order is granted without your abuser having notice the order will only be effective once the order has been personally served upon your abuser.
A breach of a Non-Molestation Order is a criminal offence punishable by up to five years imprisonment. It is an arrestable offence and it is not necessary to obtain a warrant. “A person who without reasonable excuse does anything that he is prohibited from doing by a non-molestation order is guilty of an offence.” Family Law Act 1996, Section 42A(1).
You may also apply for an Occupation Order this is to exclude your partner from the family home and confirms who is able to live or not live in the family home.
My clients have always said that an existence of a Non Molestation Order or an Occupation Order provides them with reassurance that their abuser will not be able to contact them or exert any further domestic abuse upon them.
If you believe or you know anyone else who is experiencing domestic abuse please feel free to contact Refuge who are a fantastic charity who will provide the support and assistance you may require. Charities provide drop in sessions so you can pop in and have a confidential chat with a support worker who will listen and not judge you.
At Waldrons Solicitors we help individuals who are suffering from domestic abuse. Please contact us and either speak to myself or another member of the team, who will be more than happy to assist and talk to you in confidence. We understand the feelings and concerns you have during this difficult time.
If you feel that you are in abusive relationship please contact us. Do not suffer in silence.