Nobody should endure domestic abuse. If you feel that you – and any children you have – are in danger or are in a potentially harmful situation, then your first priority should be to call the police.
To ensure that you are not subjected to abuse in the future, you can also apply to the court for an injunction to stop your ex from using or threatening violence against you or your children, or intimidating, harassing or pestering you. This is called a non-molestation order.
A non-molestation order is very powerful. If your ex breaches it, they can be arrested by the police and could be sentenced to prison for up to five years.
When deciding whether to make an order, the court will take into account all the circumstances of your case including the physical and mental health, safety and well-being of you and your children. The court will also decide how long the order will last.
If a non-molestation order is made, it doesn’t come into effect until your ex has been served with it.
If you consider that a court order is too draconian a step, your partner can instead give ‘undertakings’ (promises) to the court, breach of which is treated as contempt of court and could lead to a fine or committal to prison. There is, however, no power of arrest attached to an undertaking as there would be to a court order.