Protection from Harassment

What is Harassment?

Harassment and distressing behaviour can be unique to each individual and their surrounding circumstances.  A general definition of harassment is behaviour which causes you distress or alarm, such as unwanted telephone calls, letters, emails, visits, abuse and bullying online, stalking, verbal abuse and threats.  The Courts will look at whether most people or a reasonable person would think that behaviour amounts to harassment.

The Offence

The PHA 1997 makes it an offence to pursue a course of conduct that amounts to harassment.  The High Court and the County Court can grant an Injunction for personal protection by forbidding harassment.

If your application is successful, the Court will grant an injunction restraining the perpetrator from pursuing any conduct which amounts to harassment. If the injunction is breached, the perpetrator may be fined, imprisoned or both. In addition, the Court has the power to award the victim damages for anxiety caused by the harassment and for any financial loss arising from the harassment.

 

 

Injunction options

Associated Persons

It is open for someone who is subject to domestic violence and abuse to seek an Injunction under the Family Law Act 1996, that is a Non-Molestation Injunction (to prevent someone from abusing you) and an Occupation Order (to remove a person from the home).

However, in order to be eligible to apply for one of these injunctive measures, the perpetrator of the alleged abuse must be an associated person, that is that the parties are or have been in a relationship or they are related.

Non-Associated Persons

However, there are circumstances where the perpetrator is not an ‘associated person’, they could be an acquaintance, somebody from the local area, or even a stranger.  If this is the case, then it may be possible to apply for an Injunction under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 which can be brought in either the Criminal Courts or the Civil Courts.

The PHA 1997 makes it an offence to pursue a course of conduct that amounts to harassment.  The High Court and the County Court can grant an Injunction for personal protection by forbidding harassment.

Generally speaking, harassment is behaviour which causes you distress or alarm, such as unwanted telephone calls, letters, emails, visits, abuse and bullying on line, stalking, verbal abuse and threats.    The Courts will look at whether most people or a reasonable person would think that behaviour amounts to harassment.

If your application is successful, the Court will grant an injunction restraining the perpetrator from pursuing any conduct which amounts to harassment. If the injunction is breached, the perpetrator may be fined, imprisoned or both. In addition the Court has the power to award the victim damages for anxiety caused by the harassment and for any financial loss arising from the harassment.

 

Additional Information

As mentioned above, harassment is unique to each individual and their circumstances. Harassment may not be limited to private relationships. Harassment and abusive behaviour can also occur in the workplace.

Please see the Employment section on our website and the following link on the GOV.UK website for further details regarding workplace harassment and procedures to follow if you are experiencing this: https://www.gov.uk/workplace-bullying-and-harassment.

Contact us

If you believe that you have been a victim of harassment, please contact rhw’s Family Team who will be able to discuss the options open to you including seeking protection from the Courts.

rhw solicitors in Guildford have a knowledgeable and compassionate team of Family lawyers that will help advise and assist you if harassment is an issue in your life. Call us on 01483 302000 or complete our contact form.

Meet the Family Law Team

Elizabeth Leah

Elizabeth Leah

Partner
01483 540 555
Bethany Rickerby

Bethany Rickerby

Solicitor
01483 540 530
Arjun Sreedaran

Arjun Sreedaran

Associate Solicitor
01483 302 000

Your Support Network

On Mental Health

At rhw we aim to provide a fully comprehensive service for our clients. As well as the legal advice and support from our own staff, we have carefully selected independent financial experts we can introduce you to should you need their help.

If you are having issues with mental health due to pressures connected with your domestic situation, then rhw can help.

Initially though we would always recommend that you contact your G.P. and ask for an examination and written report at the earliest opportunity. 

We also take the mental health welfare of our clients extremely seriously. To this end we have teamed up with Teba Martin-Lopez of Surrey Psychotherapy who offers a range of psychological support that assists our clients with the stress and mental health symptoms they may be experiencing during and after a divorce.

‘Surrey Hypnotherapy offer clients a combination of psychotherapy techniques and hypnosis. The psychotherapy in itself is extremely beneficial and helps you to address underlying issues.’

We are happy to refer a client to Teba directly or, if you prefer, you can visit her website below and make contact yourself. Please mention rhw Solicitors when contacting Teba.

www.life-acknowledged.com

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