Charity suspects persistent misuse of Non-molestation Orders

Charity suspects persistent misuse of Non-molestation Orders

A leading parenting charity, Families Need Fathers, has reported new figures demonstrate a 30% rise in Non-molestation Orders being granted since the rules around legal aid entitlement were changed. Non-molestation Orders are important tools in the Court’s armoury to protect parties who have suffered or are continuing to suffer from domestic abuse at the hands of family members. The Orders provide injunctive relief to the successful applying party, with breach of an Order being a criminal offence. However, the charity suspects that a significant proportion of applications are now made tactically and, at times, without justification. This is because, provided the other relevant criteria are met, obtaining a Non-molestation Order can be a gateway to the granting of legal aid funding within other, associated family proceedings, such as applications involving children.  

The outgoing president of the High Court Family Division, Sir James Munby, has expressed concern since learning of the trend and has reminded his judicial colleagues that an applicant must prove their case before potentially draconian Orders are granted. As highlighted by the domestic abuse charity, Women’s Aid, it is important to consider these newly released statistics in light of record numbers of reported domestic abuse incidents.  

Non-molestation Orders remain of vital importance to protect victims of domestic abuse and our experienced team here at Brachers can guide individuals through obtaining the protection they require.