Trained Legal Experts Will Provide Free Advice Slots
A free legal advice service for domestic abuse sufferers has been set up by law firm Irwin Mitchell for people affected by the UK coronavirus lockdown.
Restrictions on movement during the coronavirus pandemic have resulted in an enormous increase in calls to charities helping victims of domestic abuse. Refuge, the country’s largest domestic abuse charity, reported a 700% increase in calls in one day.
The media have also reported that due to the pressures brought on by lockdown, urgent care proceedings in the family courts have increased significantly since the beginning of the pandemic, with some courts seeing a fivefold increase.
Leading national law firm Irwin Mitchell has now decided to offer a free legal advice service for the duration of the crisis to those affected by domestic abuse. Expert family and divorce solicitors will provide a free consultation to offer help, support and advice.
Expert Opinion“As a firm we felt duty bound to put our expertise to good use in helping people to get through this crisis.
“For victims, there is often little knowledge of where to turn. If the situation falls short of one in which the police are prepared to become actively involved, the only way for such a situation to be resolved is through family courts.
“For those who qualify financially, fortunately legal aid remains available to provide access to justice, but for those who do not the legal system can be an expensive and bewildering process.” Toby Hales - Partner
A number of Family Law solicitors at Irwin Mitchell have signed up to provide specialist advice, and the service will also draw on the expertise of the firm’s Personal Injury teams as necessary.
The free advice will focus on getting domestic abuse victims the help they need, whether it’s free legal advice or signposting to relevant services.
Toby continued: “We can try and help assess the situation from a professional point of view and try to provide a safe avenue for people affected whether that is one that requires the police to get involved or something that can be resolved by family lawyers, and will advise on the availability of legal aid and other support services.
“We’ll be helping to obtain protection from the courts and, where necessary, to get the court process started to resolve any issues involving children.
“We want to do everything we can as a firm to make sure domestic abuse victims can get the help they need in one simple and comprehensive service. If people want someone to talk to, we are here for them.”
If you’re worried about your situation at home, please call 0370 1500 100 to speak to one of our advisers.
If you need urgent help, call 999.