An occupation order is one of the court’s key powers in cases involving domestic violence. It controls who lives in a home, and can be used to exclude those who use or threaten violence, as well as perpetrators of sexual or psychological abuse.
If a person breaches an occupation order, it is contempt of court. They can be brought before a judge and fined or imprisoned for breaking the terms of the order. Where a victim feels such orders are too strong, it is possible to agree undertakings – a solemn promise to the court. If undertakings are broken, it remains civil contempt.
An occupation order can be applied for without notice and on an urgent basis. If you feel at risk of imminent violence you should contact the police.
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