17th June 2024|In Divorce & Separation

Exploring Alternatives to Non-Molestation Orders

Non-molestation orders are powerful legal instruments granted by family courts to protect individuals from harm or threats of harm. They serve as personalized injunctions, tailored to the specific needs of the applicant. However, there are circumstances where alternatives may be more appropriate or even necessary. This blog post explores three alternative ways a person can find protection from unwanted behaviour.

Restraining Orders: A Common Alternative

Restraining orders are a common alternative to non-molestation orders. Unlike non-molestation orders, which are granted by family courts, restraining orders typically follow criminal proceedings and are given by a judge sitting in the Crown or magistrates’ courts.

Restraining orders are usually used when there have been criminal proceedings against a person. They can be obtained when someone is a victim of a crime and they require protection from harassment or fear of violence by the perpetrator for a specified period or until a further Order is made.

Police Intervention: Immediate Protection

In cases where immediate danger is present, contacting the police should be the first course of action. If someone has subjected you to domestic violence or has made threats against you and your family, they have committed a criminal offence, and you should notify the authorities immediately.

The police could, for example, bring charges of assault or prosecute for an offence under the Protection from Harassment Act 19971. In some cases, a non-molestation order can be used to complement or follow up the action that police take.

Mediation and Counselling: Conflict Resolution

In some cases, mediation or counselling may be a viable alternative to a non-molestation order. This is particularly true in cases where the parties are willing to communicate and work towards a resolution. Mediation involves a neutral third party who helps the parties to discuss their issues and find a mutually agreeable solution.

Counselling, on the other hand, can help individuals to deal with the emotional impact of the issues they are facing. It can also provide strategies for managing conflict and improving communication.

However, it’s important to note that mediation and counselling should never be used in place of proper protection from abuse. But in cases where harm is caused unintentionally and a relationship remains in place, they can sometimes provide a valuable route to reconciliation.

Final Thoughts

While non-molestation orders are incredibly powerful tools for protection, they are not the only options available. Depending on the circumstances, restraining orders, police intervention, or even mediation and counselling could provide the necessary protection. It’s crucial to understand these alternatives and to consult with a legal professional to determine the best course of action for your specific situation. Remember, everyone has the right to live free from harm and fear, and there are multiple legal tools available to help ensure this right is upheld.

Can we help you? Please call us on 0333 344 6302 or contact us through our enquiry form. All initial enquiries are free and without obligation.

"*" indicates required fields