The law provides various reliefs and remedies for domestic abuse victims, and one of these is the issuance of a non molestation order. This is not a mere relief but is, in fact, one of the best ways you can get protection from domestic abuse. As an injunction order, this document is served on a particular individual directed by the court to avoid doing a specific act, like threatening you, limiting your actions, and even visiting your workplace or home.
The purpose of the said order’s issuance is to keep the abuser from threatening or using physical violence, pestering, harassing, intimidating, or communicating with the victim. This order can also stop the abuser from coming within a certain distance from his victim, her home, or even coming to her workplace. Apart from the victim, the order can also include the protection of her children in certain circumstances. The order also extends to anyone the abuser can use, instruct, perform such prohibited acts.
What behaviours are prohibited by a non-molestation order?
Aside from those specifically mentioned above, the non-molestation order can protect the victim from behaviour that doesn’t constitute a criminal offence by itself. Aside from that, it can also save the victim from incidences where the police responded to a 911 emergency call but such instance, after being reported, couldn’t be classified as a felony because the victim submitted insufficient evidence.
To illustrate this point, let’s tackle this example. Suppose you came home from work and as soon as you arrived home, someone hugged you from your back without permission. You know that such a person is your ex-husband who has been stalking you regularly since you filed for divorce, so you called 911. The police responded, and they took care of the case. However, since there was no CCTV footage and no one could corroborate your allegations, the case was found to be wanting of probable cause. Even if the case doesn’t prosper, you can still file for a non-molestation order against the perpetrator using this instance as a basis.
What should be established before filing for a non-molestation order?
For your petition for the issuance of a non-molestation order to prosper, you must show that you are ‘associated’ with your abuser according to the Family Law Act 1996. This means that you should either be married, living together, or civil partners. You could also file if you have children with the abuser, or if they’re you’re in-laws or relatives.
What will the court consider before granting the order?
Before the court decides on your case, they will consider all the parties’ circumstances, giving particular emphasis on the safety, health, and overall well-being of the petitioner and his or her children. You can strengthen your case if you could present emails, text messages, photos, or any substantial and convincing evidence of damage to property or injuries to your person.
How long does the order last?
If the incident occurred recently, like in the past week, you could file an emergency application for issuance of the said order. If the order were issued without notice, a further hearing would be held 14 days later to give the abuser a day in court. The order is usually granted for six months to one year, though this could be lengthened in certain circumstances.
If you’re a domestic abuse victim and always worry about your safety, talk to Care Proceeding Solicitors and explore your options. A non-molestation order might just be the remedy that you need.