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.