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What is a Safety Order?

A safety order is an order of the court which prohibits the abusive person (the respondent) from committing further violence or threats of violence. The respondent is not obliged to leave the home. If the person is not living with you (the applicant), the safety order prohibits them from watching or being near your home and following or communicating (including electronically) with you or a dependent person (any child).

Safety and protection orders may be obtained by the following:

  • the spouse of the respondent,
  • the civil partner of the respondent,
  • a person who is not the spouse or civil partner of the respondent and is not related to the respondent within a prohibited degree of relationship, but was in an intimate relationship with the respondent prior to the application for the safety order,
  • a parent of the respondent and the respondent is of full age and is not, in relation to the parent, a dependent person,
  • being of full age, resides with the respondent in a relationship the basis of which is not primarily contractual, or
    has a child with the respondent. 

A safety order does not exclude the offender from the home but offers the applicant (or a dependent) safety by prohibiting the respondent from:

  • using or threatening to use violence against the applicant/dependent person,
  • molesting or putting in fear the applicant/dependent person,
  • if not residing with the applicant, prohibits watching or besetting a place where the applicant/dependent person resides,
  • following or communicating (including electronically) with the applicant/dependent person.

The court may place such exceptions or further conditions on the order as it sees fit. 

A safety order may remain in place up to 5 years after its making and may be renewed.

Guide to Safety Orders in Dating Relationships is available here