It is sad to read that incidents of domestic abuse have massively increased across the globe since the spread of the Covid-19 virus. 

Concerns have been raised by charities that many victims feel trapped in their homes with their abusers as a result of the stringent "lockdown" provisions that have been introduced by the government. 

The message from Priti Patel, the home secretary, is that those who have suffered or are at risk of domesic abuse are able to leave their home to seek refuge. This includes all those who have suffered abuse including psychological, financial, emotional or physical abuse. She has also stated that the Police will also follow up on any reports of abuse.  

The Family Court remains open for those seeking the protection of non-molestation or occupation orders, in addition to any orders required to protect the welfare of children. 

Non-molestation and occupation orders are both civil applications but there can be criminal sanctions for anyone who breaches them. A non-molestation order protects you or your child from being harmed or threatened by the person who has abused you.  If an application is made for an occupation order the court will make a decision as to who can live in the family home or enter the surrounding area. A family law solicitor can help you to make these applications.

The national domestic violence helpline number is 0808 2000 247.

If you require urgent assistance to protect the safety of you or a child please contact the Police on 999.