If you or your children are in immediate danger, please call 999 and ask for the police. You can also call the 24-Hour National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247.
If Jorge Arantes thought he had successfully handled allegations that he abused his ex-wife, RK Rowling, by telling British media on the doorstep of his mother's house in Porto, Portugal, "I slapped Joanne - but there was not sustained abuse. I'm not sorry for slapping her", it is likely he has now been proven very wrong. Indeed anyone, man or woman, who is under the misplaced notion that a 'slap' is not physical abuse, is entirely incorrect.
In a blog article written personally by the Harry Potter author to justify recent comments which some saw as 'trans-phobic', Rowling, stated, "I've been in the public eye now for over twenty years and have never talked publicly about being a domestic abuse and sexual assault survivor. This isn't because I'm ashamed those things happened to me, but because they're traumatic to revisit and remember. I also feel protective of my daughter from my first marriage. I didn't want to claim sole ownership of a story that belongs to her, too. However, a short while ago, I asked her how she'd feel if I were publicly honest about that part of my life, and she encouraged me to go ahead".
While only Arantes and Rowling will ever know what happened between them, this case highlights how perpetrators often deny their wrongdoing, or simply fail to understand that their actions, whether in the past or present, are domestic violence.
Contrary to common belief, the term' domestic violence' covers not just physical harm (whether threatened or actual) but also sexual violence, emotional or other psychological abuse, harassment, or controlling behaviour. Controlling behaviour also includes financial and indirect control.
While there is no legal definition of domestic violence in statute law, the Government website defines it as, "any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality".
Domestic violence can also be seen as a cycle of behaviour, which is repeated over and over. One, albeit very simple theory by Lenore E. Walker, suggests that this cycle of abuse involves four stages:
It is possible to see using this model why many people become trapped by domestic violence. The reconciliation and calm which follow an incident of domestic abuse diffuse concerns and fosters the hope that there will be no further occurrences; but unfortunately, in too many cases, there are.
Understanding that domestic violence has a much broader scope than actual physical harm is important, but knowing this is not enough to bring it to an end. In many cases, the fear of leaving is greater than the fear of staying, perhaps due to threats by the perpetrator, or worries over what might happen next. In addition, some victims of domestic violence have become so accustomed to such behaviour, they may no longer recognise they are in an abusive relationship.
Another factor, and one which is relevant to immigration, is that of culture. It may be that behaviours which are normalised in some cultures would, in the UK, likely cross the boundary of domestic violence. This may mean that immigrants to the UK from other countries with vastly different cultural norms, may not realise that they are being subjected to domestic violence. In the words of the charity, 'Rights of Women' who help women to access legal support, "Sadly, we recognise that in some countries and cultures being a divorced or separated woman is not seen as acceptable. Ending a relationship because of domestic violence, having a relationship with someone else, or having children outside of marriage may also be considered unacceptable or shameful".
Under UK immigration law, a person who has come to the UK on spouse/partner visa, and has become the victim of domestic violence, can apply for ILR, which will allow them to remain indefinitely in the UK without being subject immigration control. Victims of domestic abuse without sufficient financial resources may also be eligible for the Destitute Domestic Violence Concession, which provides three months' leave to remain and allows them to apply for public benefits and funds. In order to qualify for this concession, their relationship must have broken down as a result of domestic violence.
In order to prove that domestic violence has occurred, victims will need to provide evidence as part of their ILR application, which may include (where relevant):
Domestic violence is experienced by men and women in all cultures and countries. What is changing is the growing awareness that what would have passed as undesirable but otherwise normal behaviour in the past is now classified as domestic violence. Whether it is a pattern of threats, cruel words, or denying access to money, the truth is that in many cases, domestic violence escalates over the years, placing the victim and other family members in ever greater danger. Remember, if you are currently a victim of domestic violence, the law is on your side and there is a wealth of help available to you and your children. Hopefully, you will have the courage to reach for it.
It's a shame that you dont have an 'Excellent' star rating on here, as my experience with Reiss Edwards is nothing short of an excellent rating. They handled my application for an Indefinite Leave to remain in April 2014 and did my husband's one very recently including my daughter. Every time i have approached them, they have continued to treat me with courtesy, respect and patience. Amar was indeed a very thorough and professional gentleman. He is very knowledgeable, corporative and engaging. He responded to my emails, calls and enquiries promptly. He was always reassuring. I could not have asked for a better Immigration service. I would recommend them over and over again for anyone looking for an immigration advice. They gave me a free immigration advice when i called them, and the quality of the advice was something other charge thousands for. If you need a particular, name, Amar would be it. He exemplifies, for me, the true, professional gentleman. He is a valuable asset to Reiss Edwards.
I am glad that i instructed Reiss Edwards on my visa matter. It started with a 20 minutes free immigration advice. I met with Amar to discuss my ILR refusal. He gave me a great deal of quality advice and decided to take on my messy case. I had doubts on the merits of my case by he was relatively convinced he could win it. That made me quite secure. To be honest, things did not start as quick as I would have wanted, but they kept on communicating the process and state of things to me.A big thank you to Verusha and Foram. They were also very helpful. Brilliant and informative. Their fee was fair and reasonable, especially if you compare them to other law firms and immigration law firms in London; some of whom even told me that i would not be able to get an indefinte leave to remain in this country. The process was long but was worth it. In the end, a big thank you to Reiss Edwards.
Investing over 2 million pounds is defintely not a routine decision. We had to make sure that the Tier 1 investor immigration lawyers that we'd be picking has to be one of the best within the Tier 1 investor category. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they were able to get us not only the Tier 1 investor visa but also suggested profitable investment portfolios in addition to what we already had in mind.
TI have just had British Citizenship application approved. Prior to making the application, i was not sure which law firm i should hire to facilitate the paperwork. After a few hours of research, i decided to go with Reiss Edwards and i must confess that i wasnt disappointed. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards handled my case well and they really knew what they were doing. They were fully aware of what documents I needed and it was easy for them to tell if my case was going to be easy or not. At the end of the day, I have not received my British citizenship within 3 months. If anyone is looking for a good immigration lawyer to handle thier case, contact Reiss Edwards.
My wife's spouse visa extension application was refused by the Home Office and they gave her 14 days to leave the country. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they said "OK don't worry we will sort this out". They put together the list of documents for me to obtain and they prepared a bundle which was as thick as the printer it came out from.We followed everything they asked us to do and in the end we won our appeal and got our spouse visa. We can't recommend them enough and we have promised ourselves never to make any more UK visa applications without them.
The team of lawyers at Reiss Edwards are very professional and friendly people. Their experience in and around UK immigration law is quite extensive; be sure that you application is in safe and competent hands. My immigration matter was an indefinite leave to remain application based on Tier 1 on a self-employment basis. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards made sure that the application was perfect and ready to be accepted. I got a positive decision and I recommend them highly for anyone who needs a UK immigration help.
I contacted Reiss Edwards to help me with my wife's UK settlement visa. They acted with utmost professionalism throughout the entire application. I spoke with Joe Dinh, he is an immigration solicitor and he is one of the best solicitors out there. He ensured that there was little to no room for error. At some point I thought he was over cautious. He remained calmed and continued to assure us on our immigration matter. Most people in his position would have panicked but he was calmed and continued to assure us. We received out positive outcome very quickly.
I have been using Reiss Edwards for three years now for my family's immigration application. Both for my initial application and extension. They are really affordable. The team of solicitors at this firm are probably one of the most efficient and economical in terms of cost. They offered free advice over the phone and spent good time with us before inviting us for consultation.
Reiss Edwards is a top notch immigration service company. The way they handled our documentation and also the list of documents they sent was efficient and top quality. They helped us professionally throughout the process. We are very happy with the immigration advice we received from the team. We highly recommend them.
I used Reiss Edwards immigration lawyers to assist with my immigration matter and that of my family. It was an EX1 application. They dealt with the matter properly and even when complications were coming up from the Home Office, they helped resolve the issue properly. They are very professional and are very popular in London. I am happy to have worked with them.
This is the only firm that i spoke with that didn't ask for money before listening to me, will be using them again.
I used Reiss Edwards for my Tier 2 visa application and it was successful. The team was ever present and happy to answer my question. The caseworker that dealing with my case went on holiday yet by case did not suffer one bit. Another lawyer stepped and took over the case without any hassle.
My Tier 1 Investor Visa was dealt with quickly and without issue. Would recommend Reiss Edwards as an Immigration law firm in London. Thank you to the team.
530 ReviewsREAD ALL REVIEWS