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Please help - domestic violence

(7 Posts)
MidnightDexy Fri 07-Oct-16 21:35:15


Posting on behalf of a friend, will keep details brief and vague to protect her identity.

I found out today that my (female) friend was hospitalised by her (male) partner earlier this week.

An ambulance and the police were called immediately, when the police arrived he admitted what he had done, he spent the night in the station and she was in A&E overnight. She is out and physically 'ok' now.

She gave a statement and the police said they'd be in touch in morning to see if she wanted to press charges. They called next morning and asked her to confirm if she wanted him back in the flat, she said no. She didn't hear anything further, until a difference policeman called to say he would be going to court in X weeks.

Obviously charges have been brought. I explained to her that when a crime is serious and there is evidence the victims doesn't always get to decide if charges are pressed. She's ok with that.

However the reason I am writing, is that she has no clue what is going to happen from this point on - will she have to give evidence, does she need her own lawyer, what will happen to the flat...

She was given the number of Victim Support and has rang and rang but can't get through to anyone. She has called the police she had been dealing with but different people are on duty etc, no one can or is willing to advise over the phone etc.

She is devastated and upset and on top of all this she is very confused.

Are there any charities that will be able to explain the legal process to her, her rights, what (if anything) she needs to do next, etc?

I have looked at the big website (Refuge, Women's Aid) etc and there is lots of info about "your legal rights" etc, but I can't see any helpsheets etc to guide her through what will happen at a DV trial.

Can anyone help?

yumyumlama Fri 07-Oct-16 21:52:07

Refuge are great. I got a referral from the police. I would expect both refuge and victim support to be in contact shortly, if not she should continue to try and reach them. She doesn't need a solicitor - CpS will prosecute. I would guess he has been given police bail which includes not coming near her house. Really the police should have told her that.
A visit to the police station might work - can you go with her? That way can get a face to face update, ask re Refuge etc.
Yes she will be asked to give evidence. They can invoke witness protection if she feels threatened (i.e. A screen so she does not see him, come in by a different entrance etc) vicTim support will talk her through that.
Just be there for her - she will be confused, distraught etc right now.

forumdonkey Fri 07-Oct-16 22:01:21

In my case my exh admitted it and he went to court and was ordered to pay me £75 compensation and that was it. I think because he pleaded guilty I wasn't required to attend court. That was my experience.

MidnightDexy Fri 07-Oct-16 22:16:20

Forum and yumyumlama: I'm sorry you've been through this too.

yumylama: do you think it is definite that she will be asked to give evidence? Even if he pleads guilty? I am surprised (and sad) the police haven't explained this to her if that is the case. The trial is very soon (is that normal do you think?)

Forum: can i ask you - did you have to go to court and it only became clear that you wouldn't be called to give evidence when he put in his guilty plea? I.e. you still had to go, prepared to give evidence on the day, but in the end it wasn't needed?

I suppose you never know what will happen but i think he will plead guilty. He told the police that was what happened when they arrived and i understand that this was what he also said in the subsequent interviews. He has been in touch with my DP (his friend, or 'ex-friend' now)

Any practical tips? I have been phoning and offered to go and sit in with her tonight but another girlfriend was already coming over to stay.

LeopardPrintSocks1 Fri 07-Oct-16 22:18:32

Call women's aid. They are fantastic and helped me with so many questions when I was going through dv. They have numbers and can put you in contact with various people depending on what you need. They're also just great to talk to.

MidnightDexy Fri 07-Oct-16 22:21:14

k thanks, i have messaged her details of Women's Aid (they have a 24 hour hotline which is good) and Refuge.

I can't believe this has happened, we were on holiday with them just a month ago. sad I suppose that is always the way, abusers deceive people.

forumdonkey Fri 07-Oct-16 23:04:44

I never expected to attend court because he admitted the offence. Given that he's admitted it I doubt she will have to attend court.

My son is in a similar situation, in that he had a knife pulled on him, the offender has been caught and if he pleads guilty, my son won't have to testify in court.

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