Domestic Violence

In an emergency

If you have been attacked:

  • Phone 999
  • Seek medical assistance
  • Make yourself and your children safe
  • Seek assistance - Womens' Aid (0808 2000 247)

If you or your children have suffered domestic abuse, violence or harassment at the hands of your current or ex-partner, Thompson & Jackson solicitors can help you. Our solicitors work closely with officers from Devon & Cornwall Constabulary Domestic Violence Unit.

Domestic violence is any physical, sexual, or psychological violence that takes place within an intimate or family-type relationship and that forms a pattern of coercive and controlling behavior.

There are a number of ways you can obtain protection from your abuser and ensuring your health, safety and wellbeing through the Courts. Our Solicitors can advise you about the remedies available to you, but as a guide:

Where there is violence or harassment a person can apply for an injunction against their abuser, if that person is related to them by one of the following ways:

  • someone they are or have been married to
  • a cohabitant or former cohabitant
  • those living in or who have lived in the same household (other than as the other person's employee, tenant, lodger or boarder)
  • the parent of their child
  • someone they are or have been engaged to.

Injunctions come in two forms and can be obtained either individually or together if the circumstances necessitate:

  • Non-molestation order – this type of injunction is aimed at preventing your partner or ex-partner from harassing, pestering or intimidating you or your children, and includes assault. A non-molestation order can also stop your partner from getting someone else to harass you.
  • Occupation order – this regulates who can live in the family home and can also restrict your abuser from coming within a certain distance of the home. An occupation order can:
    • Allow you to remain in the home if your partner is trying to get you out.
    • Allow you back into the home if your partner has already thrown you out.
    • Remove your partner from the home.
    • State that you and your partner must live in separate parts of the home.
    • Restrict your partner from entering the surrounding area.

Our Solicitors will meet with you and take a detailed statement about the abuse you have been suffering. This statement will then be filed at Court along with the application for the order. If your case is urgent you may be required to attend Court that day to get the protection you require without the other party receiving notice. If the orders are made in this way, they will usually last for only a short duration to enable both parties to attend and make representations. The matter can be resolved by a further court order or by the respondent (the person being complained of) making a promise to the court not to continue with his behaviour.

How long do injunction orders last?

A non molestation order may be made for a specified period or until a further order.

Occupation Orders can be made for different lengths of times depending on whether the parties were married/are relatives of each other,/were cohabiting etc. We will be able to advise you with regard to this at your initial meeting with us, where relevant.

How are breaches of an order dealt with?

Breach of a non-molestation order is a criminal offence, and Police are duty bound to arrest anyone who breaches it, and bring them before a Court. Sometimes the court can also attach this power (known as power of arrest) to an occupation order as well. If the police don’t act or your ex partner breaks an occupation order without a power of arrest then you can make an application to the court and ask for them to be punished. The judge can punish someone by imposing a fine or sending them to prison.

Useful Telephone Numbers

Plymouth Area
Housing – 01752 305950
Plymouth Police - 08452 777444 or 999 in an emergency
Plymouth Women’s Refuge – 01752 562286
Social Services - - 01752 668000
Victim Support – 0845 676 10 20

National
The Samaritans - 08457 909090
Women’s Aid - Free phone 24 Hour National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247

Contact Us

For further information concerning Domestic Violence, please contact Jonathan Petch or Lauren Sayer on telephone number 01752 665037, by fax on 01752 670312 or by

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JonathanPetch
Head of Family
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