Domestic abuse takes many forms. It may be physical, emotional, sexual, psychological or financial. It can happen to anyone in any walk of life and can have devastating effects.
For many victims it is difficult to know who to turn to and where to get help. If you are suffering threatening or controlling behaviour, bullying or harassment in a relationship, we can provide expert and sensitive legal advice and support to make it stop.
Our barristers are experts in the law relating to domestic abuse. They have been at the forefront arguing for more effective protection for victims and educating the wider legal community and voluntary sector on the latest changes in legislation.
We have strong links with agencies such as Refuge, Women’s Aid, CAFCASS, Southall Black Sisters as well as local authorities, and we can act quickly to help you change your situation. We are deeply committed to achieving justice, equality and safety for all members of society, especially the most vulnerable.
Once you speak with our helpful Public Access team, your details will be passed to our Public Access barristers. One of the options we offer clients is a free 15 minute telephone consultation with the barrister of your choice. This allows you and the barrister to learn more about the situation and services required, free of charge.
In response to the COVID-19 lockdown measures, a number of our team members, are offering a free hour of legal advice to key workers who seek advice on how to secure an injuction to protect themselves from harm, click here for further details.
CORONAVIRUS - FAMILY LAW UPDATE
Sadly, family problems continue during this difficult time. Many are finding the current restrictions difficult which is giving rise to additional stress and anxiety.
Some may need a non-molestation or occupation order to protect them from an immediate risk of harm arising from someone in their household, others may have problems with contact with their children, some will need financial help or emergency maintenance or general advice on a wide range of family law issues.
The courts continue to operate, although the vast majority of cases will take place by remote means including video-hearing and telephone links.
Emergency, and other applications are still being accepted and processed and whilst it is not “business as usual” the courts are open.
We continue to offer the same service as before with the only change being that all appointments are now by video or telephone and papers will need to be submitted electronically.
If you need help in an emergency or general legal advice please do not hesitate to get in touch.
PROTECTING YOURSELF AND YOUR CHILDREN
Our specialist team can guide you and, if needed, act urgently to safeguard you and your children. We will explain all the options available to you, including obtaining a non-molestation order. This is an injunction to stop a person or anyone acting on their behalf from being violent or threatening violence towards you or any children or harassing or intimidating you. It can be tailored to your specific circumstances to address the behaviour that has made you feel unsafe.
If you need to stop a child being removed from your care, the area, country or perhaps their school by another family member, we can help you obtain prohibited steps orders or put in place other protective measures.
protecting your home
In some cases, you may need to have the person responsible for domestic violence removed from your home as you work towards a long-term solution. We can help you apply for an occupation order to exclude them from your home or the immediate area so that you can live there in safety. We can help you to take steps to make sure the order is complied with and enforced.
In some cases you may need to take urgent action to ensure that financial assets are protected. Our barristers have expertise in financial cases and will be able to assist.
breaching court orders
If a court order is breached, it may be necessary to ask the court to take steps to punish someone for breaching the order. We can provide you with expert advice about these complex applications and where necessary help you to draft applications and supporting documents, as well as representing you in court.
female genital mutilation
FGM is illegal in the UK and is a serious abuse of human rights. Members of Garden Court have been prominent in providing legal advice to organisations such as FORWARD UK and Southall Black Sisters, as well as writing reports to the Parliamentary Inquiry into FGM and to the UN arguing for more effective protection for girls against mutilation.
If you or someone you know is at risk of FGM and needs help, please get in touch. We can help you apply for a protection order, and take steps to make sure it is complied with and enforced. We have strong links with support groups who are committed to gender equality and safeguarding the rights of African girls and women.
A forced marriage is where one or both people do not consent to the marriage and pressure or abuse is used. It is illegal in the UK and is a serious abuse of human rights.
The pressure put on people to marry against their will can be physical (including threats, actual physical violence and sexual violence) or emotional and psychological (for example, when someone is made to feel like they’re bringing shame on their family). Financial abuse (taking your wages or not giving you any money) can also be a factor. In some cases people may be taken abroad without knowing that they are to be married. When they arrive in that country, their passport or travel documents may be taken to try to stop them from returning to the UK.
If you or someone you know is being forced to marry against their will, please get in touch. Our barristers have a wealth of experience acting in cases of Forced Marriage and crossover expertise in areas including Immigration Law. If necessary, we can apply for a protection order from the court and take steps to make sure it is complied with and enforced.
Garden Court has been prominent in arguing for more effective protection against Forced Marriage. With strong links with the authorities, as well as support organisations such as Southall Black Sisters and Forward UK, our barristers will fight your corner, every step of the way.