Q: I was in a long term abusive relationship that I managed to end last year. Recently my ex has started appearing near my home, at places I frequent in town and even my place of work. I have panic attacks about him approaching me every time I see him. Friends say I should consider obtaining an injunction to prevent him contacting me. Could I do this?
A: Unfortunately many relationships that end culminate in some form of mental or physical abuse, but there are several agencies you could contact that offer advice and support to individuals who have been subjected to abuse. You should also consider contacting the police and making a complaint against your ex-partner and his behaviour towards you.
Steps can be taken to provide you with protection from such behaviour, for example an injunction. This can be obtained from a Family Court to prohibit any harassing, pestering and/or violent behaviour or threats made towards you. If appropriate, the first step would be for you to instruct a solicitor to write a warning letter to your ex-partner informing him that his behaviour will no longer be tolerated and urging him to refrain from such behaviour. If he does not refrain from his behaviour and it continues, then an application for an injunction to the Family Court may be appropriate to protect you. A lawyer who specialises in domestic abuse would be the best person to assist you with this.
An injunction could prohibit all contact from your ex-partner, whether that is direct or indirect contact. It can also prevent your ex-partner going within a certain distance of your home or place of work. In addition there are criminal sanctions for any breach of an injunction. You should seek more in-depth legal advice on this matter as soon as possible.
(Article published 07/07/2017)