(8) BATTERED WIFE AND CHILDREN
If you or your children are assaulted or threatened by your spouse or person with whom you are living you should report the matter to the police and to the Social Welfare Department or one of the voluntary agencies. They may be able to assist you in getting medical help and finding a place of refuge for you. If you are willing to give evidence the police may bring criminal charges against the culprit.
If you are afraid that there may be more violence or threats in addition to reporting the matter to Police you may apply to the Court for an Order called an "injunction". This remedy is available even if you are not married legally to the person who has assaulted you. It is also available even though you do not intend, or wish to commence divorce or separation proceedings against your spouse. You can still get an injunction.
In making an injunction the Court may order the culprit not to molest, threaten or assault you or your children and may, in certain circumstances, eject the culprit from the matrimonial home. In some cases the Judge may add a power of arrest which means that the police will immediately arrest the culprit if you are threatened again and are afraid of further violence.
The Court may make an Order at first without the culprit being told about it. In other words you may apply to the Court without telling the culprit what you are going to do. However the Order must be served upon the culprit before it is of any effect. You must therefore take steps to ensure that you are in a place of safety, either with friends, or relatives or in Harmony House until the Order has been served. For information regarding the Harmony House, you can call again at the end of this tape.
Date of amendment: 1st October 1992