Harassment from Ex Partner: How to Make it Stop
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Stalking and harassment from an ex partner can be extremely distressing for the victim. If you believe you are the victim of any type of harassment from an ex partner, the first thing you should do is report it to the police. If you believe you are in imminent danger, you should contact the police straight away. It is important to note that any firm of harassment in a criminal offence in the UK and there are a number of ways in which the law, the Civil Courts and the Family Courts can assist you.
If you or a family member have been harassed or put in fear of violence, you may wish to take legal action. One of our family law solicitors may be able to assist you in obtaining an order to stop the harassment so you can start to move on with your life without fear.
What constitutes harassment from ex partner?
Break ups are never easy, and one partner may find it more difficult than the other. In some circumstances; however, an ex partner may become obsessive and start to display behaviours of harassment. Harassment from ex partner can be described as behaviour that is intended to cause the victim alarm or distress on more than one occasion.
Harassment can come in many forms of abuse, such as:
- Verbal comments or threats
- Text messages, phone calls, letters, emails, answer phone messages
- Social media messages or posts
- Damage to yours or someone else’s property
- Acts of violence
- False reports to the police
Under UK law, putting someone in fear of violence can be constituted as doing two or more things that will make a person fear that violence will be used against them.
What can a victim of harassment do to make it stop?
There are a number of things a victim can do to make harassment from an ex partner stop. In some circumstances, it may be enough to ignore your ex if they are harassing you via electronic communications. Your ex may be attempting to salvage the relationship or provoke a reaction and this could stop if you do not respond for a few days.
You should ensure that you save all messages in case the harassment does not end and you need to take legal action.
Changing your details, such as your phone number or email account details, or blocking your ex on social media may also help to deter them from harassing you via electronic communication methods.
If you find that you ex is harassing you or staking you outside of electronic communications, you should keep a note of all the events that have happened and report it to your local police. The police may decide to arrest your ex partner, issue a waning or caution. In some circumstances, the police may obtain a type of Domestic Violence Order from the court. You may also wish to obtain advice from the National Stalking Helpline if you believe your ex may be stalking you.
Contacting a family law solicitor may also be useful to stop your ex from stalking or harassing you.
How can a solicitor help in situations of harassment from ex partner?
There are a number of things a solicitor can do to help you in this circumstance. A solicitor can send warning letters to your ex which set out what type of communication you are prepared to have with them, if any at all, and the consequences that will arise if they continue to harass you.
A solicitor can also aid by removing the need for direct communication with you ex when sorting out divorces, financial settlements and child contact arrangements.
A family law solicitor can also provide assistance on obtaining an Order or Injunction from the Court to protect you from the harassment of your ex. The types of Orders that can be put in place include Non Molestation Orders and Occupation Orders, which are similar to Restraining Orders.
What is a Non Molestation Order?
A Non- Molestation Order can be put in place to prevent a person from threatening violence, harassing, intimidating, or becoming violent towards the victim. A Non-Molestation Order could be put in place to prohibit an abuser from contacting a victim via telephone, social media, email, or in person.
What is an Occupation Order?
This type of order can be used to exclude an abuser from the victim’s family home. It can force the abuser to move out and/ or stay a certain distance away from the home. In some cases, the order may stipulate the the abuser is required to stay in a specific part of the home at certain times. It may order an abuser to allow access to the home if they have locked the victim out. It may also order the abuser to continue paying rent, mortgage and/or bills on a home.
What happens if harassment from ex partner continues following a Non Molestation or Occupation Order?
If your ex partner continues to harass you, they will be in breach of the injunction made against them. In this circumstance, you will be required to enforce in injunction, which means asking the court to take further action. The action taken by the court will depend on the type of order in place.
If your ex partner breaches a non-molestation order, this will be seen as a criminal offence and the order can be enforced by reporting the behaviour to the police and starting proceedings in the criminal court, or by starting civil proceedings by applying to the court that made the order to have the respondent arrested or punished.
When enforcing an occupation order, the process will depend upon whether a power of arrest is afforded to the order. If there is a power of arrest attached, your ex partner can be arrested if they are in breach of said order. To have your ex arrested, you should call the police. If there is no power of arrest attached, you can make an application to the court to have your ex partner arrested and/or punished for the breach.
How much does it cost to obtain an injunction against an ex partner?
You should discuss fees with your solicitor; but in some circumstances, if Legal Aid is not an option for your case, your solicitor may agree to take on your case on a no win, no fee agreement. Others may charge a fixed fee for their work. Fees will always be discussed and agreed with you, prior to the initiation of your case. Most of our solicitors will provide free legal advice before agreeing to take on your case.
How can Expert Family Law’s panel of solicitors assist?
Our panel of solicitors will ensure you get the best advice and will ensure you are made safe from your harassing ex partner as soon as possible. We can assist by obtaining the right court order or injunction as well as assisting in divorce, child arrangements and ancillary relief.
We understand that being a victim of harassment by an ex partner can be extremely distressing. We ensure that the solicitors on our panel have the skills and experience required to assist on your legal case. We can assure you that your case will be dealt with in a compassionate and understanding manner.
Get in touch today using the form at the top of the page to find out if a family law solicitor from our panel could help on your case.
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