Getting a Protective Order in the UK: Restraining Orders

Many people may experience harassment, stalking, and domestic abuse. Amicable separation and discussion may not be an option in such cases. Due to this, getting a restraining order against an offending spouse may be necessary to ensure your personal safety.

Filing a complaint and taking the offender to court is ideal to protect yourself from any future harm and live peacefully. This article will discuss restraining orders and how you may apply for them.

What is a Restraining Order?

Restraining orders are legal court orders that the judge gives after criminal proceedings. These orders provide a fundamental right of safety to any individual from an offender who is harming them physically or mentally. Their inappropriate behaviour may include harassment, stalking, domestic violence, mental abuse, or sexual assault. A restraining order refrains the offender from getting in touch with the victim to cause any harm.

Grounds for Getting a Restraining Order

Here are some reasons you may need a restraining order to feel safe.

  • If your partner or family member has abused/threatened to abuse you
  • In cases of sexual assault/threat
  • Making you feel unsafe due to stalking and harassing
  • Emotional abuse that has potentially prolonged adverse psychological outcomes.

The restraining order may not be possible if there is a lack of evident abuse/crime. You may need a substantial amount of proof to show you are under threat and not acting out of irrational thoughts during a separation/divorce. Therefore, it is advisable to document every possible encounter to present a thorough and physical account of the acts committed against you. Only then will you be given a protective injunction from unwanted behaviour.

Getting a UK restraining order

You may get a restraining order in the UK only during criminal proceedings. You must report the person to the police and take them to court. It will offer you preventive safety regardless of whether the person is convicted or acquitted.

The court will decide to give the restraining order to safeguard the victim even if the person cannot be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This is done to give protection as required by the victim from a potential stalker or an abusive partner.

Another significant thing to note before applying for the order is to ensure you know the person or have some regular contact with them in some capacity. You cannot apply if the person is anonymous. A restraining order can be directed toward a family member, previous partner, a previous flatmate, an individual with whom you have regular contact (i.e., a local business owner in your neighbourhood), or even individuals that target the victim through other invasive methods such as acts of stalking, the breaching of public order offences and other forms of criminal activity directed against the victim.

How to apply for a restraining order

You may apply for domestic abuse injunctions and restraining orders in court to protect yourself and your family. The injunction will give a non-molestation order to a person or occupation order to prevent trespassing from home or office.

Here’s how to apply:

  • Create an online account on RCJ Citizens Advice Court service for online application.
  • Give details of incidents.
  • Provide the address and name of the person who abused/harassed you.
  • Add a law firm/legal attorney to review the application.
  • If you don’t add a law firm or cannot obtain legal aid for your case, a legal adviser at RCJ Citizens Advice will check it for free.
  • Make a court application after the review and request a video/phone call hearing.
  • For domestic abuse cases, you can apply via email, post, or by hand.
  • You may use a C8 form to keep your details like phone number and address private.

When the restraining order is granted, the offender may have to legally stay away for a specific period or indefinite time, depending upon the case. Moreover, the person may face up to 5 years in jail if he/she breaches the terms of a restraining order.

Parting Words

Now you know how to apply for a restraining order to safeguard yourself and your loved ones. During this trying time, you’ll have to stay brave and vigilant. It may take one to two weeks to get the order from the court. You may require legal help during the court hearing, and hiring someone experienced will make the process less challenging. Contact Lawyersorted.com to find the right family law solicitor for your needs.

Written By –

Omar Shams

Omar Shams

CEO & Founder at Lawyersorted.com

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