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The police and other criminal justice agencies use restraining orders to provide greater protection to women suffering from domestic violence (DV).

Non-Molestation orders are aimed at preventing a partner or ex-partner using/threatening violence against a victim or child, or intimidating or pestering the victim.

Occupation Orders regulate who can live in the family home and can also restrict the perpetrator from entering the surrounding area.

A power of arrest can be attached to an occupation order, but is always part of a non-molestation order. Breach of a non-molestation order is a criminal offence than can be dealt with by either civil or criminal courts.

A Restraining Order can be made in criminal proceedings even when a convction has not been made. These orders provide the same protection as injuctions under the civil law but carry stronger penalties if breached.

Injunctions and Occupation Orders are normally made to last for a specified period of time, but can be made to last indefinitely until ended or amended by the court.

A Prohibited Steps Order is an order granted by the court in family cases which prevents either parent from carrying out certain events or making specific trips with their children without the express permission of the other parent.

Domestic violence protection notices and orders:

Domestic violence protection orders (DVPOs) have been implemented across England and Wales from 8 March 2014. This follows the successful conclusion of a 1 year pilot in the West Mercia, Wiltshire and Greater Manchester police force areas.

Domestic violence protection orders are a new power that fills a gap in providing protection to victims by enabling the police and magistrates to put in place protection in the immediate aftermath of a domestic violence incident. 

With DVPOs, a perpetrator can be banned with immediate effect from returning to a residence and from having contact with the victim for up to 28 days, allowing the victim time to consider their options and get the support they need.

Before the scheme, there was a gap in protection, because police couldn't charge the perpetrator for lack of evidence and so provide protection to a victim through bail conditions, and because the process of granting injunctions took time. 


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