- Domestic Violence and stalking has a devastating effect on its victims and can lead to murder.
- 2 women a week in the UK are killed by their current or former partners an incident of DV is reported to the police every minute.
- DV costs England and Wales an estimated £23 billion per annum
Director Rachel Horman heads up one of the only departments of its kind in the North of England.
The Domestic Violence, Stalking and Forced Marriage department contains specialist advisors who enable victims of domestic abuse to receive expert advice that many clients have expressed has “ saved their lives”. Rachel received the National Family Legal Aid Lawyer of the year award in 2012 and has been Shortlisted for Jordan’s National Family Partner 2014 in recognition of the ground breaking work of the department in this area. (See here for Rachel’s full profile). Rachel and several other members of the department are Resolution Accredited Specialists in the field of Domestic Abuse and Forced marriage and Honour Based Violence. Domestic violence includes physical, psychological, sexual, financial and coercive control.
The Government definition of domestic violence is:
Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality.
This can encompass but is not limited to the following types of abuse:
Psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional.
Controlling behaviour is:
A range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependant by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capabilities for financial gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.
Coercive Behaviour is:
An act or pattern of acts of assaults, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish or frighten the victim. This behaviour includes “honour” based violence, female genital mutilation and forced marriage.
Many victims of domestic violence are also abused after separation which may be classed by the police as Stalking (click here for more information)
The domestic violence department will ensure that you are seen straight away without the need to wait for an appointment if your situation is urgent. In urgent cases we will also endeavour to get you into Court within 24 hours to obtain the necessary protective Orders for yourself and your children.
Non Molestation Orders
These are also known as injunctions and can prevent the perpetrator from contacting you in any way – in person, by letter, by text, by social media and through 3rd parties. The Orders will also prohibit the use of or threat of violence and can even prevent the perpetrator form approaching your house or place of work. Occasionally the Non Molestation Orders will also cover the children.
Non Molestation Orders can be made against your partner, former partner or family relatives.
These Orders can be obtained within 24 hours (subject to legal aid requirements if appropriate) and after having been served on the perpetrator are also lodged with the police as breach of a Non Molestation Order is now a criminal offence punishable with up to 5 years imprisonment.
If you have been a victim of physical abuse from your partner then you may be entitled to make a criminal injuries claim.
For more information regarding domestic violence related issues – see the Domestic Abuse Lawyer Blog written by Rachel Horman
Local Support Organisations :
Blackburn, Darwen & District Without Abuse – Helpline: 0845 0777 088 (Mon-Fri 9-5pm)
Fylde Coast Women’s Aid – Helpline: 01253 596699 Mon-Fri: 9.30am – 9.30pm, Sat -Sun: 12 noon – 9.30pm
Hyndburn and Ribble Valley (HARV) Domestic Violence Team – Helpline: 01254 879855
Rossendale Star Centre – Helpline: 01706 830600
SafeNet Burnley & Lancaster – Helpline: 07866 510 728 (Mon–Fri 10am-5pm)
Trafford Domestic Abuse Services (TDAS) – Helpline: 0845 241 1117 (Mon–Fri 10am-4pm)
Please fill in the form on the right of the page or to arrange an appointment for a free initial consultation to discuss matters, please contact the head of our team Rachel Horman on 01254 67 22 22.
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Our Clients Say:
If there's one lawyer you need to get for your family law case, it's Sophia Isa. Sharp, knowledgeable, efficient and punctual, she really knows what she's doing. She represented me for an international relocation and child custody case, and won it on both counts. Her advice was always spot-on and she never lost sight of the end goal. Sophia responded to my queries quickly, met deadlines in advance, and always kept me updated about my situation.But what makes Sophia a brilliant lawyer, as opposed to just a good lawyer, is that she's invested in your case. She heard my concerns and addressed them above and beyond my expectations. Five stars all the way. I highly recommend Sophia and would not hesitate to use her again.
Rachel is able to make people feel at ease, helps them understand the proceedings, gives them appropriate information to make informed decisions and always treats people with respect and dignity.
Kalya made an extraordinary impression upon me during the time she was working on my case. I really appreciated how available Kalya made herself to me. Words cannot describe how supportive, knowledgeable, conscientious and brilliant with communication Kalya was. This cannot have been easy given the emotional situation I had. She is a credit to Watson Ramsbottom and the service they provide.
Rachel Horman has been pioneering women’s leadership in legal practice for over twenty years. Often she is the first to comment on cutting edge developments in law reform such as stalking and coercive control. In addition she actively contributes to institutional reform to bring about innovative changes in law and practice, often well before these become topical or even thought of as possible. Rachel has an exceptional ability to engage clients who are at extreme risk. Through her tenacity, extensive legal knowledge and an innate sense of justice, she is genuinely able to help clients feel safer and gain enhanced legal or civil protection that reduces their risk. Having specialised in this areas of work for over 20 years, she has become a catalyst for change and earned her stripes as a respected advocate for women and children rights.
Rachel Horman is an outstanding solicitor of her generation. Her career long activism in the field of domestic abuse marks her out as a lawyer whose technical skill is matched by a sense of justice. She has helped shape the modern law relating to coercive control and stalking and in that sense has both changed the way lawyers and society view these issues, but more importantly has helped countless individuals escape from abusive and dangerous situations.
Debbie on reception was excellent, always very friendly, helpful and efficient. Diane, my legal advisor, was brilliant. I cannot thank her, nor, recommend her highly enough. She conversed by phone, letter and email, always in a timely manner, often quicker than I expected. Diane explained everything very clearly and was always willing to explain in detail again when I needed further clarification. I have used Watson Ramsbottom for Divorce, Wills, Financial Settlements and Conveyancing, I have always been treated with the upmost courtesy and respect whilst being dealt with in a very timely manner. I would absolutely have no hesitation recommending Watson Ramsbottom to anyone, and I do, when asked regularly.
I became a client Watson Ramsbottom after coming across them at refuge in Blackburn. I corresponded with Rachel briefly when you switched my lawyer from Helen to Sophia. I can't thank you enough for that decision. As a mother of four young children, my candle's burning on both ends. By the time I spoke to you, I was exhausted by everything in my life, including my legal proceedings. I had lost all faith in the legal process and, to be honest, still have qualms about how well the justice system understands coercive control. In any event, I wanted to thank you for taking the time to address my concerns, especially regarding my experience with Helen. It is unfortunate that she was my first experience with a lawyer, but your recommendation of Sophia more than made up for that. Sophia is a credit to your company and an amazing solicitor. She was knowledgeable, respectful and attentive -- all qualities that any client would look for. Thank you again, not only for your help, but also for your work on coercive control. People really don't get what it is and that's sad for the many women in the same situation as me.
Rachel’s work as a solicitor in Domestic Violence arena can only be described as exceptional
John Swanney is highly experienced in Care Proceedings and Matrimonial Finances. He is one of the best negotiators I have ever seen and has exceptional Advocacy skills, always able to think fast on his feet and obtain results for Clients.