The recent assault on Nigella Lawson by husband Charles Saatchi has, once again, brought into the limelight the terrible truth that domestic violence can happen to anyone. Its impact is devastating and traumatic, to not only the individual suffering directly, but also those who are closely linked to them, especially children.
The best advice that can be given to an individual subjected to domestic violence is to seek help from a Specialist Family Lawyer and to talk to the police.
The police are now taking a slightly more pro-active role in domestic violence cases, as is highlighted by the Nigella Lawson episode where they pursued the matter without her having made a complaint, and will often remove the perpetrator from the matrimonial home, albeit sometimes only temporarily. Please be aware that when seeking legal aid in family cases where domestic violence is involved a police report is necessary to ensure that any allegations are proved. Otherwise, the application may be unsuccessful.
Seek advice from a Specialist Family Lawyer as soon as the incident has occurred. You may be able to apply for a Non-Molestation Order and/or Occupation Order. The former will protect you from the perpetrator intimidating, harassing and using violence against you, and the latter, if granted, would exclude him/her from the house. In serious cases a Non-Molestation Order can be sought on an emergency basis. Once served with any Orders, if the perpetrator breaches the same he/she will be arrested as your local police will be served with any Orders.
Domestic violence is a horrific ordeal to face alone. Do speak to someone about your situation. For children, even witnessing violence can leave them feeling emotionally traumatised for life. Do all you can to avoid this. Be proactive and seek specialist advice.