The Amended Practice Direction is about involving judicial proceedings and how to manage and interpret a case according to the Court Rules. This even covers the proceedings related to the children. It describes clearly what the courts are needed to do in a children case where lots of issues occur due to a domestic abuse situation.
Understanding Domestic Abuse
Conventionally, the term ‘domestic violence’ was used to identify such practices, but now it is symbolized as ‘domestic abuse’ that includes any one incident or a pattern of incidents of coercive, controlling or threatening activities, behaviour, violence, or abuse between those aged 16 or above, who are or have been intimate family members and partners regardless of sexuality and gender.
This includes, but is not limited to, sexual, financial, physical, or emotional abuse. Domestic abuse is also about the cultural specific forms of abuse including, but not limited to the concept of honour-based violence, forced marriage, or dowry-related abuse and transitional marriage abandonment.
While this is a comprehensive definition of domestic abuse, there are other aspects included in it, like controlling behaviour or abandonment, and more. With a broad definition, it becomes possible to protect and recognize that not all sorts of abuse are violent or obvious.
According to the Practice Direction, it is very clear that the compliance is not optional. It confirms what the court needs to do and offers guidance on how the best to accomplish that. This includes the guidance and support on what interim orders to create, whether a fact-finding hearing is needed and the significance of judicial continuity in cases. Also, it requires the Courts to record few issues on the face of any orders, like any findings or admissions of abuse for the reasons why the Court decided to not go for a fact-finding hearing session.
Documents or Evidence Needed to Support Your Domestic Abuse Case
If you are a victim of domestic abuse and seeking for aid then you need to support yourself with some evidence. You can avail support against domestic violence if you have the following evidence with you.
- A relevant and appropriate unspent conviction for domestic violence offence
- A relevant caution from Police for an offence of domestic abuse
- Evidence if relevant criminal proceedings for offence of domestic abuse that has not been concluded
- A relevant safeguarding injunction that is in force or granted within a 24 month period instantly preceding the application date for legal support
- An undertaking offered by the perpetrator provided that the undertakings were not offered from both the parties
- Supporting evidence that the preparatory is on bail for a domestic violence offence
- A letter confirming that the victim of domestic abuse was referred to the Police as the victim of such a situation.
- Also, there must be an action placed by the respective authority in a plan to protect the victim from any harm from the perpetrator of the victim.
- There is another letter required stating that the health professional examined the victim for an offence and was convinced that the victim is in a condition or had suffered injuries consistent with those of the victim of a domestic violence.
- If the victim has taken support for social services then a letter for the same must also be offered/
- A letter from the health professional to which the victim has referred confirming that the victim requires special assistance or support or at risk of domestic violence
- A suitable domestic violence protection notice offered from the Domestic Violence Protection Order under the section 28 of the Act.
The lists of documents required are subject to change. So, before you file any similar case then you must be aware of the latest documents and evidence needed. If there is a child risk involved then it is important that suitable legal aid is availed.
If you are any doubts regarding domestically abused elements or evidence required, then you may ask for our legal aid at any time.