If a person is violent or threatening violence in a family setting, it may be possible for the victim of abuse to obtain an injunction. This is a court order forbidding the person from harming or threatening harm to the victim. The order that a court makes depends on the circumstances of the case.
It may issue a 'non-molestation order', which prevents a person from using or threatening physical violence, intimidating, harassing or pestering, communicating with the victim (if appropriate) and instructing or encouraging others.
It may also issue an 'occupation order' which prevents a person from living in the family home.
If you think that someone is being subjected to physical abuse, the person can be referred to any local domestic violence organisation such as Wearside Women In Need (Sunderland area). You should also notify the local authority as soon as possible that there is a safeguarding issue.
Police Powers and Domestic Violence/Abuse
In relation to domestic violence, Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPOs)and Domestic Violence Protection Notices (DVPNs) under Sections 24-33 of the Crime & Security Act 2010 were rolled out across all 43 police forces in England & Wales from 8th March 2014. DVPOs are a civil order that fills a 'gap' in providing protection to victims by enabling the police and magistrates courts to put in place protective measures in the immediate aftermath of a domestic violence incident where there is sufficient evidence to charge a perpetrator and provide protection to a victim via bail conditions.
A DVPN is an emergency non-molestation and eviction notice which can be issued by the police, when attending to a domestic abuse incident, by a perpetrator. Because the DVPN is a police-issued notice, it is effective from the time of issue, thereby giving the victim the immediate support they require in such a situation. Within 48 hours of the DVPN being served on the perpetrator, an application by police to a magistrates' court for a DVPO must be heard. A DVPO can prevent the perpetrator from returning to a residence and having contact with the victim for up to 28 days. This allows the victim a degree of breathing space to consider their options with the help of a support agency. Both the DVPN and DVPO contain a condition prohibiting the perpetrator from molesting the victim.
See also: Definitions, Categories & Indicators of Abuse: 2.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse