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Domestic Violence, the World Cup and Legal Aid

The World Cup could be responsible for a rise in the number of incidents of Domestic Violence and Abuse, says Family Law Solicitor Matthew Rogan.

As the 2014 World Cup gets underway tonight, consider for a moment the research undertaken by Lancaster University criminologist Dr Stuart Kirby into the links between the World Cup and domestic abuse rates.


Dr Kirby's research revealed that over the last 3 World Cups, Police in the Lancaster Constabulary recorded an increase in incidents of domestic violence whenever England played.


The violent incidents increased by 38% when England lost and by 26% when they won. Incidents increased in frequency at each subsequent World Cup, which has raised fears that a similar increase will be seen during the 2014 tournament.


Dealing with Domestic Violence and Abuse


If you feel yourself to be immediate danger of violence, call 999 and ask for the Police.


In other situations (or when the Police seem unwilling to assist), there is still help available. Many women and men are emotionally and verbally assaulted. If you want to leave an abusive situation, but are afraid of what your partner might do, there are things you can do to protect yourself.


Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone, yet the problem is often ignored, excused, or denied.


This is particularly true when the abuse is psychological, rather than physical. Domestic abuse occurs when one person in a close relationship or marriage tries to dominate and control the other.


How can a Family Law Solicitor help?


If you are facing the threat of domestic violence from a partner or another member of your family, then there are ways in which a Family Law Solicitor can help, such as applying for a court order or an injunction on your behalf. There are two kinds of injunction that are commonly employed when dealing with domestic violence or threats of violence, these are:


  • Non-Molestation Order - This is an order to stop your partner "molesting" you or your children. Molesting in this sense means harassing, pestering or interfering with you or your children in some way, including assaults.

  • Occupation Order - This is an order where the judge decides who should carry on living in the home in the short-term, if there has been violence or harassment. An occupation order can: a) Allow you to remain in the home if your partner is trying to get you out. b) Allow you back into the home if your partner has already thrown you out or is preventing you going back into the home. c) Exclude your partner from all or part of the home.

In an emergency, injunctions including Non-Molestation Orders and Occupation Orders can be made very quickly, without notice to the other party.


Legal Aid in cases of Domestic Violence


Significant cuts to Legal Aid were introduced by the government in April 2013, affecting many areas of Family law. However Legal Aid remains available for Protective Injunctions such as those described above, provided that an individual meets the criteria for financial eligibility. Recent changes to Court procedures also means that applications for Protective Injunctions can now be made without the requirement for a Court fee.


Legal Aid is also available to help when it comes to applying for an injunction if that Domestic abuse can be evidenced in another way e.g. the perpetrator has previously been convicted of a violent offence. that Legal Aid can then be available for other Family Law matters relating to children and separation.


If you find yourself facing Domestic Violence or Abuse, or you know of a friend or family member in a similar situation, then there is help available. Matthew Rogan, one of the Solicitors here at Canter Levin & Berg, is a Law Society Accredited Specialist in Domestic Abuse and Violence in the Home. For a confidential discussion with Matthew, please call our Family Law team on 0151 239 1181.

By Matthew Rogan