Serving Domestic Violence Court Injunctions UK
According to the Office of National Statistics, two women are killed every week in England and Wales by former or current partners – a truly shocking statistic. Domestic abuse is a serious crime, and for victims looking for safety, security, and justice, taking the person responsible for the abuse to court is often a necessity. But serving a court injunction to someone accused of domestic abuse can be messy. Allegations of domestic abuse are never well-received, and we as process servers have to be wary of the high stakes and high emotions of delivering such notices. It’s impossible to profile a domestic abuser on appearance. Someone who on the face of it may seem like a decent and friendly person, could have committed some truly terrible abuse. We know this from experience, and don’t prejudice when serving the court papers, as appearance and social background have little bearing on whether someone is a domestic abuser or not. Our job is serving an injunction order – it’s the job of the court to decide the penalty of any crimes committed.
Serving an Injunction Order
Sometimes when serving an injunction order, the recipient will become violent towards the person delivering the papers. If you suspect that this may happen, it is even more important to hire a process server to deliver the court injunction. Not only are offenders less likely to get violent with a stranger than they are with the person that they are accused of abusing, but process servers are also trained to deal with difficult and aggressive individuals. If you suspect that the recipient may become violent to the person serving an injunction order, you may also choose to file for a restraining order to provide added protection following the serve.
Domestic Abuse Court Order
Domestic abuse injunctions and restraining orders can also have a huge bearing on divorce proceedings and custody battles, which can make the offender feel even more angry and likely to become violent when the injunction is served. With an injunction or restraining order, the victim of the abuse has more evidence to provide to a judge as to why their (ex) partner should not have custody of their children. Domestic abuse charges can also have lasting effects on a person’s ability to get or keep a job, go to college, and more.
There are varying kinds of injunctions that can be filed for instances of domestic abuse, the two most common we serve are as follows:
- If the domestic abuse is in the past and the victim does not feel that they are in immediate danger, they can file a standard injunction. This involves papers being served to a current or former partner, family member, or someone that you have lived with or currently live with.
- The second option is an emergency injunction. This option is used when domestic violence occurred recently, or if the victim feels that they are in danger. The recipient of the injunction will not be aware of it until it is served to them via a process server.
Emergency Court Injunction
There are three kinds of emergency injunctions. The first is a non-molestation order. This order is used to prevent an abuser from communicating with the victim, intimidating or pestering them, and prevents them from using other individuals to contact the victim. This order includes a power of arrest, which means that if an offender breaches this order, they can be arrested.
The second kind of emergency injunction is an occupation order. This is often used when the victim and abuser share a home. The order requires the offender to leave the home, and prevents them from living in the home or visiting. This order can also include a power of arrest, but does not automatically include one.
Another type of domestic abuse injunction is a prohibited steps order. A person can file for this order when someone is threatening to remove their children from their care. The order prevents this from happening. The order doesn’t include a power of arrest, although police may intervene if the order is not followed. This order also does not necessarily prevent the offender from having contact with the children.
Domestic Abuse Court Injunction
Regardless of the type of domestic abuse injunction being served, it’s a good idea to enlist the help of a process server when serving an injunction order. That way if an offender does become violent, there will be a professional there to deal with the situation, keeping the victim out of harms way.
If you are a victim of domestic abuse, or suspect that someone else you know may be, it’s important to seek help. If you feel unable to call the police, there are many other organisations that can help.
Writer’s Bio: Lewis Murawski is the marketing and business development manager at Diem Legal and Managing Director of Kahootz Media. Need professional help with digital marketing? You can connect with Lewis directly on LinkedIn