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FAMILY LAW BLOG – VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC ABUSE
Victims of alleged domestic abuse are seeing their cases dropped at rapidly increasing rates.
The time limit for the police to charge a person with common assault, which includes most domestic physical assaults, is 6 months. Over a period of 5 years 13,000 cases were dropped as the police and the Crown Prosecution Service did not charge within that deadline.
Common assault offences include verbal abuse, pushes and punches, kicks and being spat on.
Overall 75% of all domestic abuse cases including common assaults, more serious physical assaults and sexual assaults are being closed early without the perpetrator being charged.
Victims of domestic assaults are quite often reluctant to pursue their complaint with the police as their circumstances can be quite complex or they fear for their safety if they cooperate with the police.
Campaigners say that the police should be given more than 6 months to investigate offences of common assault. The government say that all allegations of domestic violence should be investigated thoroughly and pursued whenever possible and money has been invested to support victims.
If you are a victim of domestic abuse and the perpetrator has not been charged with any offence or been made subject to bail conditions not to contact you then there are still civil law options available to obtain the required protection from the courts. These options include applications for occupation orders which can force a person to leave a home they share with the victim and non-molestation orders which forbid any person from using or threatening violence against another. Any person in breach of any such “protection” orders can be arrested and face imprisonment.
If you are a victim of domestic abuse and require protection from the perpetrator then contact our family law specialists Stephen Warburton or David Bannister who are both based at our Northwich office and can be contacted on 01606 74301.