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26 Domestic Violence, Abuse and Harassment

1 Introduction

This leaflet tells you about your legal rights if you are suffering any sort of abuse in your home from other members of your family. It also tells you how to get practical help to protect you and your children.

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There is information on:

2. What can I do if someone in my family is abusing me?

3. Practical things to do if you are being abused

4. Taking legal steps

5. What the police can do for you

6. What a solicitor can do for you

7. Court orders you can get to protect you

8. How a court order protects you

9. What if the person abusing me is not my partner?

10. How can I help someone who is being abused?

11. Terms used in matters to do with domestic abuse

12. Further help

13. About this leaflet

Domestic abuse includes all kinds of behaviour that is meant to hurt or frighten you.  It can happen to anyone: to women and men; gay, lesbian and straight (heterosexual) people; and people of any age or background.  It ranges from physical violence to cruel words and threats that are meant to scare you.  You do not have to tolerate this kind of behaviour.  There are laws to protect you and any children you have living with you.  The police, social services and medical services can also help to keep you safe from harm.

This leaflet is published by the Legal Services Commission (LSC). It was written in association with Imogen Clout, a solicitor specialising in family law.

Leaflet version: July 2006

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