You must seek the help of a solicitor if you want to get a Court Order against your partner or ex partner. There are three main court orders used by victims of domestic abuse to protect themselves against a partner or ex partner.
I am not alone and I don’t have to put up with any kind of abuse I am glad I can actually talk.
Women's Aid service user
What is an Interdict?
An Interdict is the most common type of Court Order applied for against a violent partner or ex partner.
An interdict is a Court Order made by a Sheriff which orders your partner or ex partner not to do, or to stop doing, something that you do not want them to do. Some examples of interdicts are:- your ex partner can be ordered to not contact you in any way, to not approach your home and to not frighten or threaten you. If your ex partner breaches this order, ie. they come to your house or threaten you, they would be in breach of a court order which is a criminal offence.
When your interdict order is granted your solicitor can ask the Sheriff to attach a ‘power of arrest’ to it.
If your interdict has a power of arrest attached to it, the police can arrest your ex partner each time they breach the order. A power of arrest is a very powerful protection to have against your ex partner.
What is a Non Harassment Order?
This is a Court Order granted by a sheriff at court where your ex partner is ordered not to harass you.
To get a non harassment order there has to be at least two incidents, but preferably more than two, when you have been harassed by your partner, ie. telephoned, written to, spoken to, approached and generally bothered by them.
This conduct does not need to be threatening but it needs to have happened more than once and to have caused you distress.
This order is not used as commonly as an interdict but can still be useful to get protection from your ex partner. Often people can be harassed by an ex partner but this does not amount to enough to get an interdict against them because the behaviour itself is not threatening or aggressive. You might, however, still be able to get a non harassment order.
If your ex partner continues to harass or bother you, they are in breach of a court order, which is a criminal offence.
What is an Exclusion Order?
This is a court order granted by a Sheriff to prevent a partner or ex partner from coming back into the family home.
Often your partner will have the legal right to come into the family home for example if it is jointly owned, or it is a joint tenancy. If your partner has been violent towards you, has assaulted you or threatened you to such an extent that you cannot live in the same house with them, you may be able to get an Exclusion Order.
These orders can often be difficult to get.
You would have to be able to prove that you have good reason for being afraid of your partner to justify to the Sheriff having them ‘thrown out’ of their own house.
Sheriffs are not so keen to grant these orders for a number of reasons. One of the reasons is that it has been claimed that it is contrary to a person’s Human Rights to be stopped from going into their own home.
What is an ASBO?
An ASBO is an Anti Social Behaviour Order.
Individual people cannot apply for an ASBO.
This is an order that can be applied for by the Local Authority to protect other people from someone’s anti social behaviour.
If you want the protection of an ASBO against your partner or ex partner you would have to gather information about their behaviour and report them to the local authority. It would then be up to the local authority to decide whether they wished to apply for an ASBO against your partner.
Anti social behaviour could include public drunkenness, having loud parties, shouting and making a lot of noise in public, vandalism and harassment.
If the local authority is granted an ASBO against your partner or ex partner and they continue to behave in an anti social manner they would be in breach of a Court Order which is a criminal offence.