There are many forms of domestic violence and this does not just include physical violence.  The abuse may also be emotional, psychological, sexual or financial.  The various types of evidence of the abuse that can be provided to enable you to access Legal Aid are listed below.


Evidence of criminal convictions for a domestic violence offence.

 

This will count as evidence provided that the conviction is not ‘spent’, under the terms of Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. If you do not already have a written record of the conviction (such as a letter from the police) you will need to get a record of the conviction for your Legal Aid application.

  1. Please check that your partner was either cautioned for, or convicted of a domestic violence offence of which you were the victim.  Please see the list of domestic violence offences  and the guide on sentencing to help you to work out if the conviction is spent or unspent.
  2. You will need to know the Court where your ex-partner was sentenced.  You can get the information by either writing to the Court or visiting them in person. Please note that you will need to contact the Court where the sentencing took place.  If you do not know the Court, the police officer who was leading the investigation may be able to help you.
  3. Once you know where sentencing took place, you should write to the Court.
  4. Please use  template letter A for the Crown Court or template letter B for the Magistrates Court  to help you.  Please fill this in giving as much information as possible before sending it to the Court. Once you have received the relevant evidence please make an appointment to see us. The addresses for our local courts can be found in the useful contact section.

 

Evidence of a police caution for a domestic violence offence.

 

If your former partner has been given a police caution for a domestic violence offence against you in the UK in the last 2 years this can also be used has evidence for your legal aid.  You will need a written record of the caution for your legal aid application.  Please see the list of the domestic violence offences. Please complete template letter C and send to the data protection officer at the police force which gave the caution. Once you have received the evidence please make an appointment to see us.


Evidence of ongoing criminal proceedings for a domestic violence offence

 

If your former partner has been charged with a domestic violence offence against you within the UK but has yet to be convicted in a Court written confirmation that the prosecution is ongoing will count as evidence for legal aid. Please see the list for domestic violence offences. If you do not already have a written record of this (such as a letter from the police) you will need to get a copy of the charge sheet for your legal aid application. Please complete template letter D which you will need to send to the data protection officer of the police force that arrested your former partner.  Once you have obtained this evidence please make an appointment to see us.


Evidence of a protective injunction

 

This is a Court Order that would have told your ex-partner not to use violence towards you, harass or threaten you. In England and Wales these are called Non-Molestation Orders, Occupation Orders, Forced Marriage Protection Orders and Restraining Orders.  If any protective injunctions were granted in either Scotland or Northern Ireland please see the Ministry of Justice website for further information.

If such an Order is either currently  in force or has ended but was made in the last 2 years, then this can still be used has evidence for legal aid.  You will need to obtain a copy of the Order.  You or your solicitor should have been given a copy of the Order when it was issued.  If you need to obtain a copy, you may obtain a copy of a Restraining Order from the Magistrates Court by completing template letter E1 or a copy of all other types of protective injunction orders from the County Court by completing template letter E2. You may have to pay a fee to obtain a copy of the Order.  In some situations you may qualify for fee remission (to either pay nothing or to help you towards the cost). Please complete Form EX160.  Once you have obtained a copy of the required evidence please make an appointment to see us.


An Undertaking given in place of a protective injunction

 

An undertaking is where a person has given a promise to the Court to stop doing certain things usually either to stop harassing or threatening you.  Undertakings are usually accepted by the Court instead of an injunction being granted.  If your ex-partner has given an undertaking to the Court within the last 2 years then this can be used as evidence to get legal aid.  You must not have given the Court an undertaking in similar terms yourself.  You should already have a copy of the undertaking in your possession.  If you no longer have a copy please contact the relevant Court using template letter F. There may be a fee payable.  You may qualify for fee remission.  Please complete Form EX160 which you may find either on the Ministry of Justice website or you may obtain a copy from your local  County Court. Please see our useful contact section.


Evidence of being subject to a multi-agency risk assessment conference (MARAC) plan

 

This is a group of local agencies (such as the police, doctors and social services) who come together to make plans to protect and help high risk victims of domestic violence.  If a MARAC has made a plan to protect you from your ex-partner in the last 2 years then this can be used as evidence for legal aid.  You will need a letter from the MARAC chairman which confirms that they have made a plan to protect you from your ex-partner within the last 2 years.  To obtain the required evidence you may either contact your local police’s public protection unit by phone - 01785 235170 or email – ppu.disclosure@staffordshire.pnn.police.uk or use template letter G and send this to them together with template letter H for the MARAC Chairman to complete and return to you to ensure that the required information is provided in full. Once you have obtained the required evidence please make an appointment to see us.


Finding of fact of domestic violence by a Court.

 

This is where a Judge within a non-criminal case decides whether or not domestic violence has occurred in a particular case.  If there has been a finding of fact made in a UK Court of domestic violence against you by your ex-partner in the last 2 years then this can be used as evidence.  The finding of fact should have been recorded on a Court Order and you should have been given a copy.  If you no longer have a copy of this please contact the relevant Court using template letter I.  You may need to pay a fee or alternatively you can complete Form EX160 to help with fee remission. Once you have obtained the required evidence please make an appointment to see us.

 

Letter from a health professional confirming injuries or a condition, consistent with domestic violence

 

If a doctor (including a G.P or a psychiatrist), nurse, midwife or health visitor saw you in the last 2 years because you had injuries or a condition from domestic violence caused by your ex-partner then this can be used as evidence.  A condition can include mental or psychological conditions such as depression as well as physical conditions.  You will need to ask them to write a letter on your behalf confirming that they have examined you, and that you had a condition that was consistent with domestic violence and that they have no reason to believe that your injuries or condition were not caused by domestic violence.  To get a copy of the letter, please complete template letter J providing as much information as you can and sending it to the place where you were seen, addressing it to the health professional that you saw.  If you do not know their name or they no longer work there, we suggest that you contact your G.P who will have access to your medical notes and will be able to help you.  You may be asked to pay a fee for the letter by the health professional. Please also send template letter K for the heath professional to complete on your behalf so that you can ensure that they provide you with the correct information for you to use as evidence.

If your case is urgent, you may wish to make an appointment to see your GP or health professional, taking the letter with you for completion within your appointment. Once you have obtained such evidence please make an appointment to see us.

 

Evidence from social services confirming domestic violence

 

If social services have assessed you in the last 2 years at being at risk of domestic violence by your ex-partner this can be used as evidence.  You will need a copy of the assessment showing both your name and your ex-partner’s name as the perpetrator (i.e. the person responsible for the domestic violence).  If you do not have a copy or if it does not have the right information on it, please complete template letter L and send it to your local social services department. Please also send to them template letter M for them to complete and return to you to ensure that they provide you with the appropriate information for you to use as evidence. Once you have received the relevant evidence please make an appointment to see us.

 

Evidence from a domestic violence support organisation confirming that you have had a 24 hour stay in a refuge due to domestic violence

 

A refuge is a safe house where women and children who are experiencing domestic violence can stay.  If you have stayed at a refuge for 24 hours or more in the last 2 years then this can be used as evidence for legal aid.  You will need to get a letter from the refuge confirming when you stayed and that it was for a period of 24 hours or more and that it was because of domestic violence.  To request a letter please complete template letter N and send it to the refuge which you stayed at or take the letter there in person. Please provide the refuge with template letter O for them to complete and return to you to ensure that they provide you with the appropriate information for you to use as evidence.  Once you have obtained this evidence please make an appointment to see us.