Domestic Abuse During Time Of COVID-19

On 23rd March the government issued ‘Rules on Staying at Home and Away from Others’.  The recent measures will no doubt cause anxiety to those experiencing or at risk of domestic abuse. Domestic abuse can include but is not limited to:

  • Coercive control or ‘gaslighting’
  • Physical and sexual abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Verbal abuse
  • Financial abuse
  • Online abuse

Abuse, in any form, by any family member to another, is unacceptable. The family home should be a place of safety for adults and children.

The government have made clear that you can leave your home (despite the guidelines) if you do not feel safe because of domestic abuse, to seek support.

It can be particularly difficult to consider leaving your home or taking action, whilst the whole family are spending the entirety of each day at home.  Here at Russells we are set up to provide advice remotely, both on the telephone and by email and where appropriate we can take steps to obtain a court order to protect you. If appropriate, it is also possible for us to seek an order which can exclude your partner from the home.  In some circumstances, we can ask the court to make an order to protect you without your partner being told in advance.

We can also point you in the direction of other avenues of support to ensure that you are safe in the short and longer term.

If you feel at risk you should call 999 immediately. If you feel at risk but are unable to speak you can call 999 and press 55 and the police will take further steps to help.  The police are still attending domestic abuse incidents during the ongoing crisis.

This short note is intended as general guidance only and not legal advice, each families circumstances will differ.  Please contact our Family and Children lawyers for advice on family law matters during this difficult time.

Carol Ellinas – Carol.ellinas@russells.co.uk

Dario Maggiulli – Dario.maggiulli@russells.co.uk 

Lucy Hoare – Lucy.hoare@russells.co.uk

Harriet Gibson – Harriet.gibson@russells.co.uk  

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