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No increase in domestic violence applications

Government figures have revealed that the number of applications for domestic violence remedies in the second quarter of 2012 was almost unchanged from the same period in 2011.

The Family Law Act 1996 provides domestic violence remedies in county courts and magistrates’ courts, with the vast majority carried out in the former. Two types of order can be applied for: a non-molestation order – which prevents the applicant and/or any relevant children from being molested by someone who has previously been violent towards them; or an occupation order – which can define rights of the occupation of the home by the parties involved.

Since July 2007, failing to obey the restrictions of a non-molestation order has been a criminal offence for which someone could be prosecuted.

Both applications and orders made for domestic violence have been declining since 2002. Over this time both non-molestation and occupation orders have fallen, but a greater fall has been seen in occupation orders – in 2002 these made up one-third of the orders made, but in 2011 only 14% of orders were for occupation.

According to the new figures, between April and June this year, there were 5,248 applications for domestic violence – almost exactly the same as in the same quarter of the previous year. Of these applications 77% were for non-molestation remedies. The great majority of applications (82%) were made ex-parte – that is, the application was brought by the applicant without notifying the other party involved.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v1.0.

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