Whether or not you decide you want to leave your partner, you have a right to be protected under the law, and there are a number of legal options open to you, under both the criminal law and the civil law.
The two systems are separate and are administered by separate courts:
The civil law is primarily aimed at protection (or in some cases compensation). A survivor of domestic violence can make an application for an injunction (a court order) either to the Family Proceedings Court or the County Court (usually through her solicitor). Other family proceedings (such as child contact or divorce) also take place in the County Court.
The criminal law is primarily aimed at punishing the offender. The police together with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) initiate the process. Criminal cases are heard in either the Magistrates' Court or the Crown Court depending on the severity of the charge.
If you or someone you know needs more information or help, come to the Portland Centre, where you will find genuine support to sustain you whilst you regain control of your life.
This is how we can help you
- A Portland Centre staff member will listen to your problem and discuss your options
- We will seek specialist advice
- We will help you contact the Police and tell them your story
- If you choose to leave we will accompany you to your home to collect your personal items
- If necessary, we will investigate Refuge space
- We will accompany you to meetings, appointments and Court dates
- We arrange specialised support and counselling to help you get through the whole process
- We will continue to support you throughout the journey to regain control of your life
Just call us on 01305 824333 or e-mail us using our contact form or pop in to see a Portland Centre staff member to receive immediate assistance.