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If your spouse or partner has threatened you with violence or has been violent towards you or the children of the family, you may be able to apply to the court for an order called a Non-Molestation Order. If the application is granted, the Order will forbid your spouse or partner from using or threatening violence against you and the children.
In some circumstances, it may be possible to apply to the court for an order that your spouse or partner be evicted from the family home. This type of order is called an Occupation Order.
The court can also attach a power of arrest to these orders which means a police officer can arrest the person in breach of the order without a warrant. Where the court has not attached a power of arrest to the order, an application for a warrant of arrest can be made after the order is breached. The penalty for breach of such an order will depend on which court deals with the matter. Whichever court deals with the application, immediate committal is a last resort and is unlikely to be ordered by the judge save in exceptional situations.
Since the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 came into force, protection can also be obtained against a person who is not your current or former spouse/partner. There is no definition of “harassment” except that it includes “alarming the person or causing them distress”. The conduct must have taken place on at least two occasions.
If you or your children are in immediate danger from your spouse, partner, or any other person you should contact the police immediately.