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Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse is widely recognised as a real and serious problem both by the Police, Children’s Services and the Courts. If you are suffering you must get help.

If you have been wrongly accused you need help too.

The ambit of domestic abuse has been widened: it is not now confined to physical violence. It includes threatening behaviour, sexual, emotional and psychological abuse, but, crucially, also now includes controlling behaviour towards a spouse, partner or children.

Abuse – including coercive and controlling behaviour – is a criminal offence. The Police will take your complaint seriously, and this can (provided evidence is available to support a prosecution) lead to a criminal conviction.

You can also apply to the Family Court for an injunction to prevent your partner, former partner or relative coming into contact with you or coming near your address. Breach of such an injunction is also a criminal offence which can result in a jail sentence of up to 5 years.

As a team, we are keen to help anyone caught in the dreadful web of domestic abuse and we will always prioritise anyone who comes to us in fear for themselves or their children.

If you suffer abuse

Do not delay

The longer you leave it before consulting a solicitor (or reporting to the Police if you prefer) the less the Court may appreciate your need for urgent protection.

Gather and preserve evidence

You can do this by, for example:

  • Taking photographs on your mobile phone of injuries or property damage.
  • Recording (on your mobile phone) abusive telephone calls or abuse made from outside your property, when you are inside.
  • Asking anyone who saw or heard abuse to provide you with a signed and dated letter setting out what they witnessed.
  • Telephoning a relative or friend as soon as you can after an incident; ask them to write down what you are going to say and tell them what has happened.
  • Reporting abuse to your GP.

If you have been wrongly accused of abuse

Do not delay

Consult a solicitor because you may be faced with a Court hearing very rapidly.

Preserve evidence in your favour

  • Record telephone calls on your mobile.
  • Ask friends and family who may have witnessed events which favour you, to act as your witnesses.
  • If a distressing scene occurs with your former partner and there was no witness, phone a friend or family member as soon as you can; tell them what happened and ask them to write down what you tell them.
  • And, crucially, don’t try and contact your former partner or his or her family or go near to where he or she lives or works.

If this affects you, we urge you to consult a solicitor – most will give you a free emergency appointment so that you can explore your options and this can be done in total secrecy.

Don’t ever put up with abusive behaviour.

We promise that we will

  1. Listen to you
  2. Communicate with you
  3. Advise you and, above all
  4. Fight for you

It may be hard now – but we will see you through to the light at the end of the tunnel.

Contact us by phone or email whenever you are ready.

 

Clive Barker was exceptionally understanding of how I felt and that transferred back into his professional capacity.

Case Ref. T922/2

Clive Barker - very professional and knowledgable. I would consult Clive again if I needed advice in the future. Very efficient service - all staff polite and friendly

Case Ref. L1646/1

Clive and Amanda, thank you, it was an experience I didn’t think I would go through but everything ran as smoothly as it could.

Case Ref. S3377/1

Our Family Law team

Clive Barker

Solicitor Consultant

Head of Family Law

Clive Barker

Direct Dial:01252 550433

Email Clive Barker

Clive is a Consultant; he qualified as a Solicitor in 1968 and has always specialised in family law.

He is the Head of our Family Law Department and has a particular interest in difficult or complex financial disputes, and property disputes between unmarried couples.

Jennifer Lee

Solicitor

Family Department

Jennifer Lee

Direct Dial:01252 550432

Email Jennifer Lee

Jennifer qualified as a Solicitor in 2014. She specialises in family law and, within that discipline, has particular specialism in disputes over children and domestic violence issues.

Jon Beck

Solicitor/Barrister (New Zealand, non-practising)

Family Department

Jon Beck

Direct Dial:01252 550441

Email Jon Beck

Jon qualified and practised as a Barrister and Solicitor in his native New Zealand, before moving to the UK in 2010, where he has specialised in family law.

Jon has a particular interest in divorces, the separation of unmarried couples involving difficult property disputes and cases with an international flavour. He has earned particular respect for his success handling cases in which a parent seeks to remove a child from the jurisdiction.