Non-Molestation Orders as Civil Remedies For Domestic Abuse
Being subjected to domestic abuse causes significant emotional distress. Many forms of abuse can occur in a relationship aside from physical violence-- things such as emotional and psychological abuse, coercive controlling behaviour, gaslighting, and manipulation are just as intense and upsetting.
Nobody should ever have to endure something that makes them trapped with no way out. If you find yourself in an abusive relationship, there are available legal aids to help you find your way out of your situation. One such option is a non-molestation order.
What Is a Non-Molestation Order?
Non-molestation orders are particular injunctions or court-mandated orders to prevent a current or former partner from harassing and intimidating you or causing any further physical and psychological harm to you or your children. ‘Associations’ that are applicable for non-molestation orders include:
- Current or former spouses/civil partners
- Current or former cohabitants
- Close relatives
- Current or former fiances
- People with whom you have had an intimate relationship
- People that have co-parental responsibilities with their children
Some people opt for injunctions instead of restraining orders, especially in cases that warrant immediate protection for the victim. While a restraining order requires a criminal hearing in court, an injunction’s guidelines can immediately take effect within 7-14 days without needing to place any criminal charges on the abuser.
Non-molestation orders are applicable between 6-12 months but can also be placed indefinitely depending on the severity of the case. In any case, they are also renewable.
How Do I Apply For a Non-Molestation Order?
If you’re a victim of molestation and are 16 years old or older, then you can independently apply for a non-molestation order. Examples of molestation may include:
- Physical or sexual acts of violence
- Threats and intimidation
- Verbal abuse and degradation
- Financial exploitation
- Use of abusive language on online or digital platforms
- Patterns of control and isolation
Non-molestation orders cover emergencies that need immediate protection. You are not obligated to inform your abusive partner before filling out a non-molestation order. It will give you the legal advantage in the initial efforts before it comes into place. After this, legal aid solicitors must first confirm that the respondent is aware of the order and its guidelines before any actions can be called a breach.
Once the order is in place, your ex-partner cannot go into your property, school, or office and will not be allowed to contact you in any way, even if the intentions are non-threatening. As for the scheduled court hearing, the victim should compile as much evidence as possible to help their case.
Such evidence may include:
- Images of physical marks on their body indicating domestic violence
- Documentations of emotional and physical abuse
- Record of visits to the ER because of inflicted violence
- Medical diagnoses of sustained injuries
- Details of witnesses
- Police contact
- Screen captures of verbal threats and abuse
Who Do I Talk To For Help With a Non-Molestation Order?
Several agencies specialise in helping victims of abuse. Support services and non-government organisations have resources that increase the victim’s access to making their abuser accountable.
As for legal assistance, solicitors can advise you about which options will give you the best protection. Domestic abuse solicitors, for example, can provide free and accessible advice and can help you quickly remove immediate threats by calling an emergency non-molestation court order. Solicitors can aid with legal representation in court, as well as compiling evidence of domestic violence.
Domestic abuse is degrading, dehumanising, and downright terrifying. Finding your way out will never be easy, but there will always be people to help you pursue freedom and peace of mind. Take the first step now and reach out to family solicitors for help.