How can I get protection from harassment and being put in fear of violence? |
You can report an incident of harassment or being put in fear of violence to the police. The police may give your abuser a warning of the consequences of his behaviour or arrest him for the criminal offences of harassment or putting someone in fear of violence.
If the case ends up in the criminal courts and there is a trial then the courts can make a restraining order. The court can make a restraining order if your abuser is found guilty or if he is acquitted (found not guilty) of the offence. The lawyer from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) can request the restraining order.
A restraining order can prohibit your abuser from doing anything specified in the order including using or threatening violence against you, communicating you (by phone or email) or going to certain places (your home or place of work). For more information on the criminal justice process see Reporting an offence to the police: A guide to criminal investigations.
In addition to or instead of contacting the police, if you are experiencing harassment you can apply for an injunction under the Protection From Harassment Act 1997. You can make your application at your local county court or the high court. You can also ask for damages (financial compensation) from your abuser. The procedure for applying for a harassment injunction and damages is complex so if you are considering it, you should seek legal advice or call our advice lines.
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