Who is Eligible for a Non-Molestation Order?

Domestic violence happens regardless of social, economic, or immigration status, religion, races, ages, and educational achievement.  It is mostly directed to women or the weaker sex. The Law of England and Wales got it covered under the Family Law Act 1996. Under this law, anyone who wants protection from the abuser has the right to apply for a non-molestation order

The application can be made on paper or through a solicitor. When necessary, a hearing is held privately in the Judge’s chamber. Moreover, if you are in immediate danger, you can apply without giving notice to the respondent. It is referred to as ‘ex-parte.” He will only know about it when the non-molestation order is granted. The court can also set a hearing to allow the respondent to answer and disprove the applicant’s complaints. 

Who is eligible to apply for a non-molestation order?

In essence, this injunction protects the victim from physical, sexual, emotional, verbal, and psychological harassment. It also covers the abuse that stems from a controlling, intimidating, and coercive behaviour, regardless if it is done once or over an extended period of time.

The person who applies to this kind of court order is called an applicant, while the abuser is called the respondent.  To qualify for a non-molestation order, it is essential for the victim to establish her relationship with her abuser. 

The ‘associated person’ can be a:

  • Spouse or ex-spouse
  • A civil partner or ex-civil partner
  • Cohabitee or former cohabitee
  • Family member
  • Fiancé or fiancée
  • Boyfriend or girlfriend for more than 6 months
  • a relative (parent, sister, brother, uncle, or aunt)

A grandparent can also seek non-molestation orders if the respondent is the child’s parent or the person whom he/she is sharing parental responsibility. 

If the grandchild has been adopted, the grandparent can seek an injunction against the:

  • Adoptive parent
  • Anyone the child has been placed for adoption
  • Anyone who applied to adopt the child

Grandparents can also apply for a non-molestation order against an adopted grandchild.

What is stipulated in a non-molestation order?

This court order commonly states that the respondent must refrain from displaying specific actions that threaten the applicant’s well-being and personal safety such as:

  • Intimidating, pestering, or harassing the applicant to any relevant child
  • Direct or indirect communication with the applicant or any relevant child
  • Threatening or using violence towards the applicant or any relevant child
  • Encouraging or instructing another person to harass the applicant of any relevant child
  • Damaging or attempting to damage the home or any property of the applicant

The court can also add a zonal component that prohibits the respondent from coming or attending the family home, other properties, or children’s school within a particular distance. If you want to remain in the conjugal property without the respondent, you can seek another type of injunction or the Occupation Order. The period covered by the non-molestation orders is determined until further order of the Family Court. Typically, the injunction lasts from 6 to 12 months. 

The sooner the non-molestation order is granted, the safer it would be for you, so don’t hesitate if you want to stop being a victim of domestic violence. 

Adam Hansen