Abuse in Relationships


Acknowledging and accepting that you are in an abusive relationship is one of the hardest things anyone can do. Taking the steps necessary to leave the relationship and/or prevent further abuse can be even harder. We will guide you through the options available to you whilst always ensuring that your safety, and that of your children, is prioritised. Our experienced legal team can also act quickly if more urgency is necessary, for example, seeking an order from the court to protect you and your children.

Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse, regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, faith or class. Domestic abuse can happen inside and outside of the home, it can happen over the phone or online using the internet or social media. It can happen in any relationship and in any family and it can continue once a relationship is over. No one deserves to be abused.

At FLiP we are experts in advising on the issues flowing from abuse in relationships and will guide and work to help to protect you through the difficulties you may face. We balance our exceptional legal expertise with care and compassion, allowing us to deliver solutions that help you move forward while carefully managing the emotional impact.

Take a look at our video here in which Director Helen Greenfield discusses the issues arising from abuse in relationships.

What is Domestic Abuse? →

Domestic abuse is an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence, in the majority of cases by a partner or ex-partner, but also by a family member or carer. It is a misconception that, in order for you to be in an abusive relationship, there must be physical violence. It can include, for example, coercive control, psychological and/or emotional abuse, financial abuse, harassment, stalking and/or online or digital abuse. Domestic abuse is very common.

In December 2015, a new offence criminalising controlling and/or coercive behaviour was introduced. It was designed to cover the scenario where there is a pattern of behaviour over the course of time used to harm, punish or frighten the victim and where the individual instances of such behaviour in isolation might not in themselves be sufficient to constitute abuse. It also covers the situation where someone exerts excessive control in a relationship, often isolating a person from sources of support. If a perpetrator is found guilty, the offence carries a maximum 5 years’ imprisonment, a fine or both.

The Domestic Abuse Bill 2021 received royal assent on 29 April 2021.  This Act is intended to help tackle domestic abuse in the UK and protect victims.  It created the first statutory definition of domestic abuse to ensure it is “properly understood, considered unacceptable and actively challenged”.  The definition states the behaviour must be “abusive” and the parties involved must be “personally connected” to each other.  It describes abusive behaviour as “physical or sexual abuse, violent or threatening behaviour, controlling or coercive behaviour, economic abuse, psychological, emotional or other abuse”.  The Act also recognises children as victims of domestic abuse and the detrimental effects this has on them.

Applying to Court →

If you are in an abusive relationship and urgent protection is required, our team of experienced family lawyers can explain the options available to you. In some instances, this may involve helping you to apply to the family court for a protection order for example. This can provide a breathing space to allow you to try and make decisions as to next steps, both immediate and longer term. Such orders can help guard against further abuse (a Non-Molestation Order) and potentially exclude the perpetrator from the home (an Occupation Order).

Our Expertise →

Our experienced family lawyers will provide you with clear advice, with the aim of assisting you to take the steps required to remove yourself from an abusive and potentially dangerous situation. We will work with you to put in place the best possible arrangements for the long-term safety of you and your children.

We have a strong appreciation of the emotional landscape and will work in partnership with you, drawing on the support of our counsellors, if necessary, to help you navigate your next steps.

We will prioritise your safety in the first instance but are then able to advise you as regards any longer term issues such as future arrangements for your children and finances.

FLiP director Helen Greenfield has a particular expertise in helping those who have been affected by domestic abuse. Contact Helen at E: hg@flip.co.uk or T: 020 7420 5000.

Our People


We have some of the very best London divorce lawyers and mediators, along with accomplished arbitrators, family consultants and counsellors. There’s no one better to handle your case.

Team of Family Lawyers Talking

Related News & Insights


Click here for more News & Insights