Among the many abuses which are committed on a daily basis all over the world, one of the most alarming is domestic violence. The number of domestic abuse cases has increased in the last few years in many countries, therefore it cannot be said these are isolated situations or that they are representative for a specific state. It is also the case of the United Kingdom, where domestic violence is reported mainly by people aged 19 to 59. Recent reports issued by the Office for National Statistics indicate that not only women and children are victims of domestic violence, but the number of men reporting domestic violence against them has increased in the past several years.
The definition of domestic abuse in the UK
Being a victim of domestic abuse is very hard to deal with, especially when one has nothing to report to; however, the number of those going to police stations and reporting such cases has increased. The UK government has taken several measures to encourage domestic abuse victims to come and recognize the signs of a violent relation and come forward in admitting it.
A broad definition of domestic abuse implies not only physical violence, but also psychological and emotional abuse manifested through a threatening and controlling behavior, according to the authorities.
In any of these cases or at any time a person feels threatened, it is strongly recommended to report such abuse or seek help from specialized organizations. It is useful to know that most police stations in the UK have domestic violence units with specialized personnel who can respond to the needs of victims.
Seeking legal advice in domestic violence cases
The first natural step is reporting a domestic abuse to the police, however this does not stop here, as most victims will want to ensure the protection measures which are taken will last. In this situation, discussing the case with a solicitor could represent a good solution.
When a complaint is filed, it is the Crown Prosecution Service which will decide the gravity of the case and the measures to be taken. Protective notices and orders are the first measures taken by the magistrate’s court in the case of victims of domestic abuse.
Then, the victim can seek legal advice on her/his own or can discuss the case with a solicitor specialized in family law at the police station, however one should be aware that the accused also has the right to legal representation.
Seeking help is the first step to get away from a violent relationship, followed by finding temporary shelter and then filing a case with a court should be last step to find a permanent solution.