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Applications and orders for domestic violence remedies at ten-year high

7,180 applications made between January and March 2019

In January to March 2019, there were 7,180 applications made for a domestic violence remedy order, up 15 per cent on the same quarter in 2018. This is the highest quarterly number of applications since records began in this form in 2009.

The figures are revealed in the latest Family Court statistics, released by the Ministry of Justice.

Between January to March 2019 – and in common with previous years – most of the applications were for non-molestation orders (82 per cent) compared to occupation orders (18 per cent). Applications for non-molestation orders in January to March 2019 were up 16 per cent compared to the same period in 2018, while occupation order applications increased by 11 per cent.

There were 7,976 domestic violence orders made in January to March 2019, up 10 per cent from the same period last year, also representing the highest number since the beginning of 2009. 93 per cent were non-molestation orders and 7 per cent were occupation orders, with non-molestation orders up 9 per cent and occupation orders up 16 per cent compared to the equivalent quarter in 2018.

Legal aid applications in private family law supported by evidence of domestic abuse
In January to March 2019, applications for civil representation supported by evidence of domestic violence or child abuse increased by 17 per cent compared to the same period of the previous year. The number of these granted increased by 13 per cent over the same period. The proportion of applications granted remained steady at around 70 per cent from the inception of this type of application until the end of 2015, before increasing to around 80 per cent. The provisional figure for the latest quarter is 77 per cent.

Applicants are granted legal aid funding for these cases if they can prove the incidence or risk of domestic violence or child abuse through a range of prescribed forms of evidence. The range of documents accepted as evidence of abuse was widened from January 2018 to include statements from domestic violence support organisations and housing support officers.

For the full statistics in respect of domestic violence applications, click here. The domestic violence figures are in section 7, beginning on page 10. For those in respect of legal aid applications, click here and go to page 11.

27/6/19 (supplemented as to legal aid statistics: 28/6/19)