Family Violence

Family violence, also known as domestic abuse, is a pattern of behaviour which involves the abuse by one partner against another in an intimate relationship such as marriage, cohabitation, dating or within the family. It can take many forms, including physical aggression or assault (hitting, kicking, biting, shoving) or threats to do so. It can include sexual abuse (non-consensual), emotional/psychological abuse (controlling, intimidating, domineering), economical abuse (deprivation of financial resources).

It is common for victims of family violence to keep it hidden as they are often afraid or ashamed. If you are in this situation and find yourself in significant danger, you can ring the Police, contact support organisations such as Women’s Aid, Men's Aid and/or look for a refuge.

If you are a victim of abuse and wish to go to Court, it is advisable to seek help from a Solicitor. In certain circumstances of family violence, Legal Aid is still available. Solicitors can look at restraining orders, non-molestation orders, prosecution, etc.

If the situation is less dangerous or there are instances where the violence has been on both sides (neither partner has more power over the other), it may be that more standard services can be accessed. In relationship breakdown, family violence is very common but each situation should be assessed separately. If you are considering family mediation, you will not be turned away because of a history of violence. Your situation will be discussed with you on your own. The mediator will be trying to work out if you would feel intimidated by your ex-partner in mediation. If you feel safe, it may be okay to proceed with mediation. If there is doubt, the mediator might decide not to proceed with mediation.

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NFM is a network of professional family mediation providers based in England and Wales that work with families affected by relational breakdown. All providers aim to help clients achieve an outcome that works best for them and their family

If you would like to get more information about mediation and/or make an appointment you can contact NFM direct on 0300 4000 636 or you can also contact a NFM family mediation provider in your area.

All services also take referrals from Solicitors, the court or other helping / support agencies.

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