Using the law

If a partner or ex-partner is abusing or harassing you and/or your children, you can use the law to protect yourselves.  If you choose to use the law, it is useful to have as much evidence as possible about what your partner/ex-partner has done to you. This can be: text messages received, calls to the police that will have been recorded, anyone who has witnessed the abuse, and any medical records such as notes taken by your GP or dentist.

To get legal protection, you have to apply to the court. The law is quite complex so you should speak to Women’s Aid or your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau. They can tell you how to find a solicitor who is experienced in family law and give you information about what to expect. They may also be able to accompany you to appointments.

There are three main types of legal action you can take:

  • An exclusion order is a court order that suspends the right of a married person, civil partner, or cohabitee to live in the family home. Find out more about exclusion orders and staying in your own home.
  • An interdict is a court order that bans someone from specific behaviour such threatening or assaulting you. Download information on interdicts.
  • A non-harassment order is a court order which can be used against your partner/ex-partner, their family or any third party behaving in a way that frightens you or causes you distress. Download information on non-harassment orders.

Nearest SWA Group

Find your nearest Women's Aid group

Staying Safe

If you need immediate help contact Women's Aid, the police domestic abuse liaison officer or your local social work office.

You can also phone Scotland's domestic abuse and forced marriage helpline on 0800 027 1234


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