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Domestic Violence guidance with COVID-19

Published on Apr 3, 2020

A very difficult reality of the current COVID-19 situation is that there has been a spike in domestic violence incidents.

It is essential for people to know what the position is with the current ‘lockdown’ and what can be done to protect you if you are at risk. 

Do I have to stay at home regardless of the situation?
The Governments guidance on the ‘lockdown’ suggests that ‘no person may leave the place where they are living without reasonable excuse’. 

Furthermore, the guidance then sets out a number of situations where you are permitted to leave your home and one is the need ‘to avoid injury or illness or to escape a risk of harm’.

It is therefore clear that if you are injured and/or at risk of harm you are able to leave home.  This does not mean that there has to be physical injury to allow you to leave, the potential for you to suffer harm is also sufficient, the harm does not have to have taken place. 

What can I do if I am suffering domestic abuse?
In many cases the first option is to telephone the police and seek their assistance.  Beyond that, you may need to make an application to the Court for an injunction (non-molestation order and/or occupation order) to help protect yourself further). 

The Courts are currently prioritising matters based on urgency and the guidance provided appears to suggest that this type of application will be considered an urgent matter.  

More guidance can be found at –

If you need any assistance with a domestic violence incident, even if it is just to point you in the right direction, we are able to help during this difficult time.  Please email our Head of Matrimonial, Nicola Gibbs on or call the office to speak to Nicola.  

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