All across Liverpool, awareness for domestic abuse is prevalent as many of our iconic buildings have recently been lit orange to show the city’s support. Unsurprisingly, there have been a great more reported incidents during the lockdown period. This is a growing problem within the UK.
The Office for National Statistics indicated that the police recorded 259,324 domestic abuse offences between March and June – 7% up on the same period in 2019. During and after the first lockdown in April, May and June, approximately one-fifth of offences involved domestic abuse. That being said, the ONS has reported that it cannot say with any certainty whether the lockdown has led to this increase in incidents.
So what help outside of the police force is available? In addition to the many organisations providing direct support to the victims of abuse across Merseyside, the family courts can also provide assistance. Solicitors can also assist by writing a warning letter advising an individual to desist from all abusive behaviour, or face the consequence of a Non Molestation Order.
A Non Molestation Order will protect the victim against any further abuse as the same places very strict limitations on what that person can or cannot do. The Order also has a Power of Arrest attached which means any breach can result in the individual being taken immediately into custody and presented to the Courts. This type of work is urgent, and many individuals are unaware it can be dealt with the same day.
By raising awareness, this increases an individual’s confidence to report incidents which in turn leads to more convictions. However, there will always be cases where the police recommend solicitor action, and we, at Maxwell Hodge, are willing to take such cases on to ensure that victims receive the protection that they so desperately need.