United Kingdom. Domestic violence and sexual violence by partner or husband - Labirint
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United Kingdom. Domestic violence and sexual violence by partner or husband

    United Kingdom. Domestic violence and sexual violence by partner or husband

    We have collected instructions, recommendations and contacts, which can help you in the chosen country and situation.

    01. Call the Police

    — What should I do if I am in danger and need emergency help?

    You can call the police by dialing 999.

    Do I need documents to call the police?

    You do not need any documents to contact the police.

    More information for survivors can be found here.

    If I have any migration issues (e.g., visa overstay), is it safe for me to call to the police?

    Regardless of your immigration status, the police should help you. But in many police departments there are employees of the migration service. Therefore, people who have problems with immigration laws may face difficulties – there are cases when the police helped people, but then they accused them of violating and placed them in a temporary detention center.

    Therefore, if you have violated the rules of staying in the country, you need to call the police and immediately request legal assistance for migrants in any helping organization.

    If your situation is not an emergency and you have problems with documents or migration laws, it is safer to contact the center for assistance to survivors of violence. The following describes how to contact these centers.

    Should I tell the police that I am a survivor of domestic violence?

    Yes. In the UK, the police have special well-established, and well-developed procedures for such cases.

    — What should I say to the police by phone?

    Tell them what happened to you. If this is not the first instance of violence, be sure to mention it. Also, report if there is a threat to your life or other important circumstances that the police may not know about or that they may not notice. Also, be sure to tell the police if the aggressor tried to strangle you. For such cases, there is a special law “on non-fatal strangulation”, which came into force on June 7, 2022.

    — How long will it take the police to come?

    Depends on the capacity and workload of each individual site. The average arrival time is from five minutes to several hours. But calls are sorted by operators, and in the event of an immediate threat, your call is likely to be given priority.

    — What should I do if police do not come?

    If you are in danger, try to move to a safe place. Then contact the police again on 999 and ask the operator why the police are not coming and if they will soon appear.

    Also, if you have the opportunity, try to get to the police station on your own, where there is a dispatch (this information should be clarified on the Internet).

    What should I say the police when they come?

    Tell them what happened to you. If this is not the first incident of violence, be sure to mention it. Also, report if there is a threat to your life or other important circumstances that the police may not know about or that they may not notice. Also, be sure to tell the police if the aggressor tried to strangle you. For such cases, there is a special law “on non-fatal strangulation”, which came into force on June 7, 2022.

    If you need an interpreter, try to explain this to the police. It is important that they have the most complete and accurate testimony, so if you are not sure that you can explain everything clearly in English, it is better to ask for an interpreter.

    Will the police remove the perpetrator from the house?

    Depends on the circumstances. Usually, the police will isolate the perpetrator if it has just happened. In addition, usually, the police do not leave the aggressor and the survivor in the same house. They can take the offender for the night.

    If the police decide to charge the aggressor or open an investigation, he can be detained for a longer period or released on bail, provided that he does not have contact with the survivor.

    Are there any restraining or intervention orders to contact the survivor? 

    It happens that the police, having detained the aggressor, release him on bail, provided that he does not contact the survivor. In addition, if the case is referred to the court, he can choose bail as a preventive measure with the condition that the aggressor does not contact the survivor.

    Sometimes the court issues a restraining order in a criminal case if it has been started. Whether the aggressor was convicted is irrelevant in this case.

    The survivor may also go to family court to obtain a restraining order. This can be done independently, without a lawyer.

    For a criminal or family court order to take effect, it must be served on the offender.

    What should I do if the aggressor violates the restraining order?

    He commits a crime. Call the police by dialing 999.

    What rights do I have?

    As part of the criminal process, the survivor must be informed about the progress of the investigation. Otherwise, her rights are rather limited. In the criminal justice system in England and Wales, the survivor is treated as a witness in the proceedings and not as a party.

    If the case is heard in family court, then the survivor is considered one of the parties. If she has a low income, she can get free legal assistance. It is also possible to file a case in family court on your own without legal representation. For example, it could be an application for a restraining order without the presence of the other party (the aggressor). Such an application is made if the matter is urgent or if the survivor will be in danger if the aggressor is informed of the hearing.

    Can I withdraw my complaint against the aggressor?

    You can always change your testimony or refuse to continue to participate in the criminal process. Nevertheless, criminal prosecution is initiated by the state, not by the survivor. Therefore, it does not depend on her whether the prosecution considers it necessary to continue the case.

    In Family Court, you can always withdraw your application for a restraining order.

    What evidence is needed to bring a case against the abuser and prosecute?

    This could be medical evidence of injuries, photographs, or videos taken by the police or documented in the hospital on the day the abuse occurred.

    Often, the key evidence during trials is the testimony of the police about what they saw when they arrived at the call.

    In the British criminal court, there is such a criminal standard as proof “beyond a reasonable doubt”. This evidence may not be physical, but it is obvious to prove the commission of a crime.

    Legislation punishing domestic and sexual violence by partner?

    You can read about them at this link here.

    02. Get medical help

    How to get medical help?

    Call 111. This is the UK National Health Service number.

    — Do I need documents to get medical help?

    You can contact a local general practitioner for free, and everyone can do this, regardless of whether they have documents with them.

    Some types of hospital treatment or medical services may be chargeable if the person does not have permission to stay in the country. Nevertheless, you cannot be denied services if they are medically necessary.

    You can also get free emergency care.

    If I have migration issues (e.g., visa overstay), is it safe for me to ask for medical help?

    Yes. The health service is not related to the migration authorities.

    However, if you have unpaid medical expenses, the Home Office will know when you renew your visa. Therefore, if you have problems with migration laws, it is best to seek migrant legal assistance as soon as possible and resolve all issues.

    — What rights do I have?

    The right to the confidentiality of medical care and to a second opinion from another doctor.

    What should I say to medical staff?

    In the UK, primary care and scheduled care are performed by general practitioners. They give referrals to other specialists in a narrower profile.

    A general practitioner appointment lasts only ten minutes. Therefore, it is better for you to take the initiative and, without hesitation, tell in detail what injuries you have and what happened.

    A general practitioner can be contacted for any injury, illness, or mental health problem and get a referral to the right specialist.

    If medical staff suspects that I am a victim of a crime, do they have to report it to the police?

    No. All medical care you receive is confidential. There are only very rare exceptions: for example, if doctors seriously fear for the life of the child, they can report this. However, most likely, they will turn not to the police, but to social services.

    What will happen next?

    The general practitioner will give you clinical advice and advice on which women’s organizations you should contact. He will also tell you what services the law provides to you.

    03. Get in touch with local nonprofit organizations

    Which organizations can help?

    Here you can find a list of organizations and read what kind of help they provide.

    In addition, many municipal councils publish lists of helping organizations on their websites.

    Here are a few other NGOs you can contact in this situation:

    Rape Crisis — here you can get informational support, and psychological or legal advice.

    The Havens — helping organization with a 24/7 hotline. Here you can find psychological and medical help.

    Survivor Support — Confidential psychological support for people who have experienced various types of violence.

    Did our instructions help?

    When compiling the instructions, we relied on the help of volunteers and lawyers from different countries. If something went wrong – the organization didn’t respond to you, you found a bug or the instructions weren’t precise enough – tell us about it. Email us at: help@labirint.online

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