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Civil law

Many people who experience domestic abuse do not feel able to contact the police or press charges. However, there is still protection available. A non-molestation order can provide protection from all forms of abuse and violence. It can be used to order someone to stop using or threatening violence against you or your children. It can also be used to order someone to stop their intimidation, pestering or harassment of an adult or child.

To apply for this order you must be 'associated' to the person you seek protection from. This includes people who are married to each other, people who've lived together, people from the same household (not tenants or lodgers) and relatives.

The Act covers same sex couples and people who've had a relationship but who’ve not lived together.

In the case of children, it relates to the child’s parent or those who have parental responsibility.

Orders are normally granted for a period of 6 months. If a person breaches a non-molestation order they can automatically be arrested. They can be given a prison sentence of up to 5 years.

How do I apply?
You will need a solicitor to help you with this. There are many solicitors available but it is best to check out that they have experience of dealing with 'family law' and non-molestation orders before you decide which one to use. Most solicitors will provide a 30 minute appointment free of charge to discuss what you want them to do.

If you are unsure we can contact a solicitor for you and may be able to attend the appointment.

Can I get legal aid?
Getting any legal help can be expensive so check with your solicitor what it is likely to cost. You may be entitled to claim help with the expenses. To check this you can visit

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