In short, no. You do not need to report an incident of domestic violence to the police. However, you must be able to explain to the court (and the Legal Aid Agency) why you have not done so before applying to the Family Court for protection. It could be that you are simply too scared to do this, or do not know how to do this. If you have not reported an incident of domestic abuse, then we can advise you as to how to proceed.
Can I get public funding for this?
Public funding is available for ALL victims of domestic abuse if they are seeking a protective order (which is also called an ‘injunction’) from the family courts. Public funding may not be free however as financial caps are imposed by the Legal Aid Agency. We can advise you as to this and whether you will receive free public funding or if you will be required to make a financial contribution to your legal costs.
Do I need evidence to go to court?
Not necessarily. Courts are aware that some victims of domestic abuse do not seek help in the early stages, or report the matter to the authorities. Some victims even deny abuse has taken place, or they try to hide it. Evidence can help your position though and you may have sources of evidence that you had not considered before, this can include for example GP notes, Social Services assessments. We will be able to advise you.
Debbie Smith, Senior Solicitor and Mediator
Warren’s Law & Advocacy
Disclaimer: While we do all that is possible in terms of ensuring its accuracy, this blog contains general information only. Nothing in these pages constitutes legal advice. You need to consult a suitably qualified lawyer from the firm on any specific legal problem or matter.