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Proof of domestic violence - legal aid

(8 Posts)
TanyaT1977 Mon 17-Feb-14 17:41:59

Writing this under as I'm struggling badly and wondering if anyone has struggled like this.

My solicitor advised me that I can still access legal aid for domestic violence via one of seven or so ways, one being a letter from a GP or doctor confirming injuries.

I was admitted to a@e almost 2years ago after an incident at home which I didn't at the time report. After a few more incidents now I've used the template letter which the ministry of justice have online to pass to the doc at the hospital. Now almost two months later and a meeting with the head of a&e they're not helping and won't sign the letter to confirm the injuries were consistent with the incident. I'm in an email chat with the head of dept and he's being obstructive and time is running out shortly

Feels like I'm being prejudged or they don't want to help.

Anyone have such a problem or can offer me advice on who to talk to to progress my request

Spero Mon 17-Feb-14 17:47:55

That sounds really unpleasant - sorry, this is still quite new and I haven't come across this before. Can you use any of the other ways? Is it worth making an application with what you have and see what the Legal Aid Authority decide? If they refuse you can appeal? Or do they absolutely insist on the template letter?

Sorry, funding not really my field, hopefully someone better qualified will be along.

but It sounds deeply unsatisfactory to allow a hospital to be your gatekeeper to public funding like this.

FinallyCanHearMyselfThink Mon 17-Feb-14 17:55:52

It is a frustrating problem. I didn't make police reports and no injuries that needed a hospital report, so no legal aid available for me. I was told "if only you'd reported it to the police." Okay, thanks. If I had, I'd have then had the hospital report to go along with it, I suppose. hmm

Hope you can get it sorted.

Offred Mon 17-Feb-14 19:42:03

Psychological conditions count. Has anyone seen you in that time for depression/anxiety as a consequence of the abuse? You need to investigate time limits as well. Will 2 years ago still count? Perhaps you could ask for a meeting with someone at the hospital to complain about their lack of co-operation?

SerenaBracken Mon 17-Feb-14 20:00:13

You already have the advice of a solicitor through legal aid. Please make the most of which most here don't have.

TanyaT1977 Mon 17-Feb-14 22:29:13

Just to add to @Offred, I had a face to face meeting with the head of A&E as my original letter that I posted fell on deaf ears. Had 15 mins and was a difficult conversation bringing up the detail as best I could in such a short timescale. I knew it would be humiliating, as I feel like I'm begging, and I guess I am, and at the mercy of a sceptical department head.

I'm not on legal aid until I can pass this 'test' of proof, without that, I'm paying through the nose for everything. That itself is depressing.

Getting close to going to my GP for a chat, as whilst the physical side of things was what I'm hoping to pass the evidential test with, I spent years taking verbal abuse, humiliation, restrictions on where and who I saw. That to me, is just as abusing as being assaulted, if not more.

Offred Mon 17-Feb-14 23:15:39

Yes it is and it is considered abuse under the relatively new (last couple of years?) govt definition of abuse. I think you should do whatever is easiest in order to qualify. Remember that you are not trying to exploit the system even if certain people make you feel that way. You are quite right that you shouldn't have to fight so hard for this. If you have genuine psychological symptoms, which you likely will, then see if the GP will write the evidence form based on that. Either that it maybe ask for your A&E records, take them to the GP and see what they can do to help?

Offred Mon 17-Feb-14 23:17:11

And definitely make an official complaint through your local complaints service and through your local healthwatch. If you aren't sure who the local complaints service are then ask healthwatch who will be able to tell you.

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