Shocking video footage of NFL player Ray Rice punching his wife (at the time of the attack his fiancée) and dragging her out of a lift has recently surfaced.
At the same time Kelly Brook has been criticised for trivialising domestic abuse after an interview about her autobiography where she discussed punching her former partners.
Domestic violence is a serious issue and one which can take many different forms. It is also one which can sometimes be overlooked when people consider what they may seek the advice of a “divorce lawyer” on.
Aside from the criminal sanctions available in situations where there is violence between couples or former couples there are also orders which can be sought under the Family Law Act 1996 to prevent a partner or former partner harassing you or even being within a certain distance from you and potentially any children. Orders can also be sought in relation to the occupation of the family home, for example, to exclude the perpetrator from that property. Orders under the Family Law Act are usually accompanied by a penal notice which means that any breach should lead to arrest by the police.
The first step should always be to report matters to the police but sufferers of domestic violence should not feel that there is nothing else that can be done. It is also important not to forget that there are varying levels of abuse and abuse can be against men or women alike. If you are unsure as to whether what you are suffering is “serious enough” to warrant orders being sought then you should speak to a specialist family solicitor.