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This week we are supporting Kirklees Safeguarding Week 2022. The theme this year is ‘continuous learning’ and during the course of the week, the aim is to cover a number of safeguarding topics to increase awareness within agencies, communities and the public.
One of the safeguarding topics that will be covered is domestic abuse. This topic has perhaps become more prominent during the pandemic as we have been restricted to the confines of our homes and those that are subject to domestic abuse have found this to be particularly challenging.
There is no set legal definition for domestic abuse and arguably, it has been purposely left to wide interpretation but can include, but not limited to, the following –
Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, religion, socio-economic status, sexuality or background.
Many victims of domestic abuse can live for many years with the perpetrator and not see any issues with the relationship. There are many signs that you can look out for if you believe you are suffering domestic abuse. The Government website helpfully summarises a few of those as follows –
Our first advice is that if you are at risk of physical harm then you should phone the police immediately.
You should report any incidences to the police to ensure that they are building a log of the abuse.
There are a number of support lines and refuges that you can contact in your local area that will be able to support and guide you. They will also be able to help you with any steps you need to take to safeguard yourself and/or your children.
In circumstances whereby you are fearful that the perpetrator may harm you further, you could apply to the court for a non-molestation order. If the court are satisfied that an order should bemade to protect you then this order will remain in place for a year and act as a protective injunction against the perpetrator of domestic abuse.
There are a number of helpful webinars taking place over the course of the week. Visit the Programme of Events Multi-agency Learning and Development Offer (kirkleessafeguardingchildren.co.uk) to sign up to the domestic abuse focussed sessions.
Our specialist Family team are on hand to provide further advice about non-molestation orders and can assist in the application process. Please contact us team 08000 147720 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how we can help.