Frequently Asked Questions

The following list of the most common forms of domestic abuse is not an exhaustive list and is not intended to be so. Other categories may and do exist.

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What is Domestic Violence?


“The use of physical or emotional force or threat of physical force, including sexual violence, in close adult relationships…the term ‘domestic violence’ goes beyond actual physical violence. It can also involve emotional abuse, the destruction of property, isolation from friends, family and other potential sources of support, threats to others including children, stalking, and control over access to money, personal items, food, transportation and the telephone”

(Task Force Report on Violence Against Women, 1997: p.27)

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Will the children go into care?

The threat of having the children put in care may be used to control your behaviour and stop you from leaving. Social workers are obliged to investigate a complaint but can also offer support and assistance if you are experiencing domestic violence.

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If I go to court will it be in the papers?

Family law cases are heard “in camera” meaning the only people allowed in court during the hearing is the applicant, the applicant’s solicitor, the respondent and their solicitor, the Judge and the court clerk. However, if an order is breached the case then becomes a criminal matter and the case will be heard in the public court.

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How will I support myself and the children?

If you are not working you may be entitled to an emergency payment from the local community welfare officer, you may make an application for Lone parent allowance and you can make an application for a maintenance order.

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If I have to leave where can I go?

A friend, family, a B&B or a refuge, however you should check availability of the refuge and also their policy regarding the age of the children

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Can I get the other person to leave the house?

You can ask for the other person to leave the house but they may not agree to, but you can apply for legal protection.

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Do I need a solicitor?

You do not need a solicitor to make the initial application, however it is worth checking the court that you will be making the application from as some courts do request a solicitor. You will need a solicitor for the hearing of the case. If you are not working you may apply for Legal aid.

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What Legal protection is there?

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How can I protect myself?

Make a safety plan. This may include:

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Who can access the Service?

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