What is a Non-Molestation Order?
Non-molestation orders are a type of court order used to protect survivors of domestic violence. A non-molestation order can state clearly that the abuser must not:
- be violent or threaten violence towards you or any children in your family, or harass, pester or intimidate you in any different ways (including, for example, by text message);
- come within a certain distance of your home (if the abuser has a legal right to occupy the home then you will need to apply for an occupation order; or
- damage or dispose of your belongings.
In order to apply to Court for a non-molestation order you need to be an 'associated person' i.e. you are associated with your abuser. The law says that you are an 'associated person' if you:
- are or were married or in a civil partnership;
- are or were engaged to be married or had agreed to form a civil partnership;
- are or were living together (this includes same-sex and opposite-sex couples);
- live or have lived in the same household (but not as a tenant, boarder, lodger or employee);
- are relatives, including: parents, children, grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews or first cousins (whether by full-blood, half-blood, marriage, civil partnership or cohabitation);
- are parents of the same child;
- have or have had parental responsibility for the same child;
- are parties to the same family proceedings for the same child; or,
- are or were in an intimate personal relationship of significant duration.
When deciding whether to grant a non-molestation order the court will consider all of your circumstances, including the need to secure the health, safety and well-being of you and any children.
If the abuser does anything to break the terms of a non-molestation order, they can be arrested by the police and be charged for committing a criminal offence. If they are found guilty they can be punished by up to 5 years in prison and / or a fine.
You can also apply to the court which made the non-molestation order for your abuser to be put in prison.