Domestic abuse is NEVER excusable
(Now ex) fans of Chinese actor, Jiang Jinfu have taken to the internet by storm this week when his girlfriend, Zhongpu Youhua posted photographs on Instagram yesterday showing her very badly bruised face, neck and arms. Jiang has since admitted to causing these injuries to Zhongpu and has apologised to her and her family for his ‘impulsive behaviour’ and for hurting her. He has stated; “Whatever the reason, I should have never raised my hand” … “I am ashamed of my actions and I will not defend it in any way. I will take responsibility for my actions and will accept the punishment. I sincerely apologise. I apologise to my parents, my friends and those who have always cared for and supported me. I am sorry for disappointing you.”
In China, about a quarter of women have reported experiencing some form of domestic violence, according to the All-China Women’s Federation. The country introduced a domestic violence law only in 2016.
In England, in the year ending March 2018, an estimated 2 million adults aged 16 to 59 years experienced domestic abuse in the last year. This is estimated to be around 1.3 million women and 695,000 men.
The Police, however, only recorded 599,549 domestic abuse-related crimes. This shows an increase of 23% since the year ending March 2017, which is likely to reflect the police force improving how they are dealing with domestic abuse cases and also an increased willingness of victims recording such crimes.
Because of the nature of domestic abuse, many victims don’t want to report their partner to the police and often, they keep the violent attacks to themselves for weeks, months and even years. There are countless reasons why victims might do this, for example not wanting to ‘upset the apple cart’ between families, not wanting to speak out in case something worse happens as a result and not wanting their lifestyle to turn upside down just to name a few.
What is ‘domestic abuse’?
The law has now accepted that domestic abuse, which includes “any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse” can be just as severe as physical abuse/violence. This can include physical, psychological, sexual and/ or financial abuse.
What can the court do?
If you are suffering from violence, abuse (including mental and psychological abuse) threats or intimidation, it is possible to apply to the family courts for an injunction to help protect you. There are two types of injunction:
- Non-molestation orders; and
- Occupation orders
A non-molestation order prohibits your partner or spouse from using or threatening violence against you or your children, or intimidating, harassing or pestering you. It can be tailored to your specific circumstances and will therefore include specific provisions depending on the type of harassment that you are experiencing.
Breach of a non-molestation order is a criminal offence and therefore they are registered at police stations local to the home. This therefore means that if the terms of the order are breached, the police can arrest the perpetrator but only if the victim reports it. Having a non-molestation order is useless if the victim does not report continued abuse or violence.
An occupation order sets out who can live in the family home (or certain parts of it) and can also restrict someone from entering the area surrounding a home. It should be noted that having an occupation order does not affect your financial interest in the home, it merely affects who can live in it.
Whilst occupation orders do not automatically have a power of arrest attached to them, you can apply to have one included, allowing the police to arrest the person in breach as they would with a non-molestation order.
If you need any help or guidance in relation to domestic abuse, please remember that anything we discuss with you is 100% confidential. We are here to help and completely understand that the first step is always the hardest.