Lighthouse legal support


If you are experiencing domestic abuse and would like the opportunity to discuss any legal issues, worries or questions that you may have, Lighthouse can offer a free and confidential legal consultation with a specialist solicitor.


Our legal surgeries run twice a month and last approximately half an hour.  Please call our Women’s Community Centre on 01473 228 270 to book an appointment.


Reporting violence or abuse to the Police


Most forms of domestic abuse are criminal offences and the police can make an arrest, caution or charge the perpetrator of abuse. Suffolk Police have specially trained officers to deal with domestic violence and abuse.


You should always call 999 if it is an emergency and you are in immediate danger.


You can call 101 or attend a police station in person to report an incident that is not an emergency.


If the police arrest or charge a perpetrator, they will decide whether to keep them in custody or release them on bail. If they are released on bail there will usually be conditions attached to protect you from further violence and abuse. Ask for your crime reference number as you may need this if you are in contact with other agencies.


The crown prosecution service will make the final decision on whether a perpetrator is prosecuted.


The police can also give you advice on crime prevention and getting a police marker on your address, so an officer can get to your home as quickly as possible.


The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme


This allows you to find out about a partners history of domestic violence from the police.  The police will give you information if it is necessary to protect you.  The police can also warn you about an individual if they think you are at risk of domestic violence.


Domestic Violence Protection Notices and Orders


If you have suffered or been threatened with domestic abuse, the police can issue a Domestic Violence Protection Notice and then apply to the magistrates court for a Domestic Violence Protection Order.


This order once granted can protect you from further abuse, and if you live with a perpetrator, ban them from returning to the home address and from contacting you.  If the perpetrator does not keep to the order, they can be arrested and brought before the court.


It lasts for 28 days and gives you time to explore your options, find a place of safety and get further support.


Non-Molestation Order


This is an injunction to protect yourself and your children from more violent behaviour or harassment to keep your violent partner away from you.  If your abuser breaches your non-molestation order it is a criminal offence and can be reported to the police for further action.


Occupation Order


Is an injunction which deals with who lives at the family home.  It will determine who can stay in the family home – for example if you want to stop your violent partner from returning to the family home.  If your abuser breaches the Occupation Order and it includes a power of arrest you can report the breach directly to the police.


An order can protect yourself and any relevant child.


Links to more information


Rights of women


Legal Aid Agency


Resolution – first for family law


Find a Solicitor


Stop online abuse



For Advice: 01473 228 270


Our helpline provides advice and support to women
experiencing domestic abuse.


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