What is a non-molestation order and whom can it affect?

*Collaborative post

Whether you are reading the news or have heard the phrase, the chances are you will be looking to understand what a non-molestation order is. It is a phrase often used in the legal system, but unless you are a direct victim or abuser in a case, it is not something you would be expected to know. However, it is essential that people are aware of this type of order, as it can help prevent crimes and abuse and help individuals who struggle with certain kinds of abuse. In addition, the idea of this judgement is used as a means of protecting victims of domestic abuse. Below is a little more information on a non-molestation order and who can be affected.

What is a non-molestation order?

As mentioned, a non-molestation order is a means of protecting victims of domestic abuse. If the judgement is ordered, it can stop an abuser from molesting the individual applying for the order. It can be similar to a restraining order, which is more commonly known amongst the general public. However, a restraining order is more commonly used when there have already been criminal proceedings against a person. Effectively, what it does is cut off the abuser from their victim. That means no contact or messages via social media, which can often be abusive, and no threats of violence or harassment towards the victim.

Whilst the general public would see this as a type of behaviour that isn’t acceptable anyway, there are always cases when an order like this is required to protect an individual or group. So, for example, if a non-molestation order is broken, it is deemed a criminal offence. That’s perhaps the most crucial part, as it is taken very seriously by the justice system. The aim is to provide relief for victims and allow them to get on with their lives without worrying about what messages or threats might be coming next.

Who can apply for one?

What makes a non-molestation order different from a restraining order? The applicant must be associated with their alleged abuser, whereas restraining orders can be ordered against anyone who might cause an individual harm. Restraining orders are commonly associated with stalkers, both online and offline, and someone constantly harassing you but isn’t a family member. Click here for more info and see under what circumstances a solicitor may be able to help you.

Individuals who can apply for a non-molestation order include:

  • A spouse or an ex-spouse.
  • An ex-civil partner or a current civil partner.
  • A family member – close or distant.
  • A person whom you have been in an intimate relationship with.
  • Maybe the father or mother of your child.

The orders can usually be granted for 6-12 months to see if it works and if it brings peace to the victim. However, criminal proceedings can be brought if the abuser does not adhere to the non-molestation order. Additionally, the order can always be extended if the justice system sees fit and believes it will be worthwhile.

Always speak to someone

Ultimately, if you are a victim and think that you have the right to apply for a non-molestation order or even want to know more about it, you should always speak to someone. Try not to suffer in silence.

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