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Domestic Abuse

Our specialist Domestic Abuse Solicitors are on your side and by your side to ensure that you receive straightforward and effective legal advice, suited to the needs of your situation.

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Domestic Violence Lawyers

Our specialist Domestic Abuse Solicitors are industry-leading experts, and understand the deep effect of abuse on survivors.

Domestic abuse can take many different forms including physical, emotional, financial or sexual. Victims of domestic abuse may belong to any gender, age, ethnicity, socio-economic status, sexuality or background. Here at Rowlinsons we can provide simple, clear and confidential advice to help you take the next step forward.

From advising about police protection and injunctions to explaining your rights and entitlement to finances, income and children, our Domestic Abuse Solicitors are here to help at every stage.


What is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse is defined by UK law as any incident, either isolated or part of a pattern of controlling, coercive, abusive, or threatening behaviours against any family member or partner who is over 16 years of age. It can be difficult to recognise domestic abuse, as it can be exhibited in many forms. Any of the following behaviours may be considered domestic abuse:

  • Physical violence or threats
  • Psychological abuse and verbal abuse
  • Sexual abuse or Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
  • Financial abuse
  • Controlling and coercive behaviour
  • Online abuse or excessive monitoring
  • Forced marriage

Domestic abuse is commonly seen in couples, but can happen amongst family members. It's important to remember the victim is not to be blamed for abusive behaviours. Abusers will often convince victims that the abuse is their fault, using techniques such as gaslighting.


What is emotional abuse?

Emotional abuse is a type of domestic abuse which includes behaviours such as threatening or ignoring the victim, controlling their behaviours and activities, or humiliating them.

As this type of abuse leaves no visual evidence, and often happens behind closed doors, it can be particularly difficult for victims to come forward. They often worry others won’t believe them.

Working alongside support organisations and expert Emotional Abuse Solicitors can ensure you do everything in your power to stay safe. If you are ready to discuss your options, you can give us a call and we will have a confidential, no-obligations assessment and help you connect with organisations who can support you.


What is controlling or coercive behaviour?

Controlling or coercive behaviour (CCB) is a criminal offence introduced with the Serious Crime Act (SCA) 2015. Behaviours that may be considered CCB include:

  • Limiting someone’s relationship with friends and family
  • Monitoring their activities, including online communication
  • Depriving someone of their basic needs, including medical services
  • Humiliating or degrading the victim
  • Threatening or exhibiting physical abuse towards the victim, their closed ones, or pets
  • Threatening or committing sexual assault or reproductive coercion, such as restricting or forcing birth control methods, pregnancy, or abortions
  • Destroying or restricting access to important documents such as passports and visas.

Any of these behaviours, or other examples of controlling or coercive behaviour, can have very serious effects on survivors. In order for an incident or behavioural pattern to be considered CCB, the victim and abuser must be personally connected, a definition which was amended with the Domestic Abuse Act 2021. This now includes any 2 parties who are, have been, or have planned to enter a marriage, civil partnership, or intimate relationship. Two people who share or have shared parental responsibilities for the same child, or are related, may also be considered to be personally connected.

CCB is a serious criminal offence, and can be punished with up to 5 years’ imprisonment.

How can Domestic Abuse Solicitors help?

Having the support of expert Domestic Abuse Solicitors can make a massive difference. Dealing with an abusive relationship is incredibly taxing, and often causes psychological, emotional, and, unfortunately, physical trauma.

Our team of Domestic and Emotional Abuse Solicitors at Rowlinsons has years of experience fighting on behalf of survivors in domestic violence cases. We can connect you to some of the leading organisations in the UK, providing amazing support to domestic abuse survivors. We can then discuss your legal options with you if you feel your abuser has exhibited criminal behaviour, or you have reasons to believe your safety could be at risk in the future.

What is a Non-Molestation Order?

If a Court feels the survivor may be at risk of threatening behaviour by the abuser, they may issue a Non-Molestation Order. This type of injunction prohibits the abuser from doing specific things, such as threatening the victim, approaching their home or workplace, or having contact with a child.

Breaching a Non-Molestation Order is a criminal offence, meaning the police can immediately arrest the abuser if they exhibit any of the behaviours outlined in it.

Non-Molestation Orders are typically issued for six to twelve months, however they can apply to longer periods of time, or extended if necessary.

What is an Occupation Order?

An Occupation Order is a type of Court order which states who has the right to access or live in a property. A Non-Molestation Order can not define this, so it’s important to apply for an Occupation Order if a survivor no longer wishes to live in the same house as their abuser.

The Court will consider many factors when issuing an Occupation Order for a family home, such as the needs of both parties and children involved, the financial resources of either party, and the effect the order would have on any parties involved.

Occupation Orders are issued for six months, and you may be able to apply via a FL401 application with no notice to the respondent. This means the other party will not be notified of your application, and can be done if there is a risk you will be pressured to avoid or withdraw an application by the other party, or if the applicant could be at risk of harm.

An Occupation Order will not change the ownership status of the property. It can only define who is allowed to live in it or access it.

Can domestic abuse affect childcare arrangements?

If abusive behaviour is established during divorce proceedings, child arrangements will be heavily affected.

Parents are encouraged to come to an amicable agreement regarding childcare in divorce, however if one of the parents is found to exhibit abusive behaviour, the Court may choose to limit that parent’s contact with the child.

The resulting child arrangement order will be planned carefully, with considerations made for parents and children who wish to stay in contact, allowing them to do so in safety.

Arrangements can be modified in the future, should the abusive parents show both genuine remorse and effort to change their behaviour towards their ex-spouse and children.

  • Laura Jones
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  • Lauren Power
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Organisations supporting Domestic Abuse survivors

We understand the fears and anxieties victims of abuse can have, and have put together a dedicated list organisations who can help you:


Women’s Aid 

0808 2000 247

Free 24-hour helpline and online guides and support. Provides a list of regional centres and services, and support for children.



0808 2000 247

Provide safe, emergency accommodation throughout the UK.


MALE (Men’s advice line and enquiries)

0808 801 0327

Support and advice for male victims of domestic abuse, information for their families and helpline.



0800 999 5428

Support for LGBT people experiencing domestic abuse.


Cheshire Domestic Abuse

0300 123 5101 and 01270 250 390

24-hour helpline and support for families living with domestic abuse.


Dyn Wales     

0808 801 0321                                       

The Safer Wales Dyn project provides support to Heterosexual, Gay, Bisexual and Trans men who are experiencing Domestic abuse from a partner.


Welsh Women’s Aid/ Live Fear Free  

0808 80 10 800

Providing help and advice about violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence.



0800 7318147

Supporting ethnic minorities affected by violence and exploitation


Hafan Cymru 

01267 225555                               

Supporting people to live safely in Wales. Providing a holistic approach to the provision of support services for women, men and families in need



0800 1111

Information, advice and support for children and those worried about a child.



0808 800 5000

Free access to information relating to child abuse, child protection and safeguarding children in the UK.


Contact our Domestic Abuse Solicitors

With offices in Frodsham and Sutton Weaver, Rowlinsons Solicitors are able to support clients across areas such as St Helens, Widnes, Warrington, Chester, and Northwich. We also have meeting facilities in North Wales, the Wirral, Liverpool, Manchester and across Cheshire, so we are always available to help in a convenient manner and location.

To get advice from our expert Domestic Violence Solicitors, and how we can work for you, please Contact us on 01928 735 333 for an initial no obligation call or click here for a call back. We also have meeting facilities in Colwyn Bay for Family Law clients.