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Your Legal & Human Rights
The legal information on this page is not legal advice. If you have a legal problem you should seek legal advice, we can help you access solicitors with experience of dealing with domestic abuse and family matters.
We understand that not everyone understands the rights they have, or the specific details of the rights a person may have. We want everyone to know their rights, and how they can use them to live safe and independent lives.
Your Rights in The Law
The Human Rights Act 1998 protects the following:
The right to life: protects your life, by law. The State is required to investigate suspicious deaths and deaths in custody.
The prohibition of torture and inhuman treatment: you should never be tortured or treated in an inhuman or degrading way, no matter what the situation.
Protection against slavery and forced labour: you should not be treated like a slave or subjected to forced labour.
The right to liberty and freedom: you have the right to be free and the State can only imprison you with very good reason – for example, if you are convicted of a crime.
The right to a fair trial and no punishment without law: you are innocent until proven guilty. If accused of a crime, you have the right to hear the evidence against you in a court of law.
Respect for privacy and family life and the right to marry: protects against unnecessary surveillance or intrusion into your life. You have the right to marry and enjoy family relationships.
Freedom of thought, religion and belief: you can believe what you like and practise your religion or beliefs.
Free speech and peaceful protest: you have a right to speak freely and join with others peacefully, to express your views.
No discrimination: everyone’s rights are equal. You should not be treated unfairly – because, for example, of your gender, race, disability, sexuality, religion or age.
Protection of property: protects against state interference with your possessions.
The right to an education: means that no child can be denied an education.
The right to free elections: elections must be free and fair.
Your Rights As a Victim of A Crime
If you are a victim of a crime that took place in England or Wales, the Victims’ Code gives you the right to information and support from criminal justice organisations such as the police and the courts.
All victims of crime have the right to:
- be treated with respect, dignity, sensitivity, compassion and courtesy,
- make informed choices that are fully respected,
- have your privacy rights under the law respected,
- be offered help so that you and your family can understand and engage with the criminal justice process – this help will be offered in a professional manner, without discrimination of any kind.
How we can help
At WWDAS we can support you with understanding of how the statutory organisations work and help you to navigate the criminal justice system. Our Support workers and IDVA service can also help you contact the police so that you can understand the investigation process.
Reporting DA to the Police
In an emergency you should always contact the police for assistance by dialling 999.
If it is not an emergency you can report a crime by:
- calling 101 (please be aware that there is a charge for these calls)
- visiting the front desk of your local police station in person
There are different protective orders you can be granted to prevent further abuse. Your support worker or IDVA can help you navigate these processes and decide which if any you might need to peruse to keep yourself and any children you may have safe.
Domestic Violence Protection Notice (DVPN) and Domestic Violence Protection Order (DVPO)
The police have the power to issue a DVPN in certain circumstances following a domestic violence incident. DVPNs last for 48 hours. Within that time the police will have to apply to the court for a DVPO.
DVPOs last for up to 28 days, which gives you and your support worker time to work out anything you need long-term, whether it’s housing, medical care, mental health care or child custody arrangements. DVPNs and DVPOs will include restrictions on your abusers activity which can include:
- Not to contact you directly or indirectly
- Not to attend your address
A non-molestation order is a kind of injunction which can protect you and any relevant children from violence or harassment. You can obtain a non-molestation order against someone who has been physically violent or against someone who is harassing, intimidating or pestering you.
Examples of what a non-molestation order might include:
- Your abuser must not be violent, threaten violence, intimidate, pester or harass you
- Your abuser must not contact you by telephone, email, social media or in person
- Your abuser must not attend or contact for any reason your place of work
Clare’s Law, also known as the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS), allows those who are concerned about possible abusive behaviour to request information about their partner from the police. A close friend or family member can also apply if they believe someone is at risk of abuse.
You can make a request under Clare’s Law by finding and contacting your local police service, calling the non-emergency number 101, or by visiting your local police station. The maximum time to complete the whole process is 35 days.
Once an application has been made, the police will carry out a range of checks along with other partner agencies, such as the probation service, prison service or social services. If there is a record of violent or abusive offences, or if the police feel there is a risk of abuse or violence, they will consider sharing this information with you. A person’s previous convictions are treated as confidential, and the information will only be disclosed if it is lawful and proportionate, and there is a pressing need to make the disclosure to prevent further crime.
If the checks do not show that there is a pressing need to make a disclosure to prevent further crime, the police will tell you that. This may be because your partner or potential partner does not have a record of abusive offences or there is no information held to indicate they pose a risk of harm to you. If this is the case, it does not mean they are not showing worrying behaviour and what your experiencing is not domestic abuse.
Further information on domestic abuse and the law can be found below:
Confidentiality & GDPR
The Data Protection Act 2018 as the UK’s implementation of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Under the Act, everyone responsible for using personal data has to follow strict rules called ‘data protection principles’. They must make sure the information is:
- used fairly, lawfully and transparently
- used for specified, explicit purposes
- used in a way that is adequate, relevant and limited to only what is necessary
- accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date
- kept for no longer than is necessary
- handled in a way that ensures appropriate security, including protection against unlawful or unauthorised processing, access, loss, destruction or damage
There is stronger legal protection for more sensitive information, such as:
- ethnic background
- political opinions
- religious beliefs
- trade union membership
- biometrics (where used for identification)
- sex life or orientation
Under the Data Protection Act 2018, you have the following rights These include the right to:
- be informed about how your data is being used
- access personal data
- have incorrect data updated
- have data erased
- stop or restrict the processing of your data
- data portability (allowing you to get and reuse your data for different services)
- object to how your data is processed in certain circumstances
You can obtain information about yourself from WWDAS at any time, this includes any case notes, personal data and support plans we have written. This is called a Subject Access Request.
To access your data, you can write to us or email us. You may also have a representative contact us – such as a solicitor. We will process your subject access request in no more than 40 days, once we have verified the information and your identification (if necessary).
There is a £10 admin fee for a Subject Access Request – this is in line with the law.