November 2nd, 2016
From radio to real life
Radio shows like ‘The Archers’ shine the spotlight on domestic abuse. But do you know what to do if you see it or experience it in real life?
One in four women in England and Wales are victims of domestic violence, a recent study found. And men and children also suffer.
What is domestic violence and abuse?
Domestic abuse takes place between people who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members. Differences in social background, sexuality or ethnicity do not explain it.
There are several types of domestic violence and abuse:
- psychological or emotional – bullying, belittling, stalking or threats to cut contact with children if a person leaves
- physical – kicking, hitting, pushing, hurting
- sexual – sexual harassment or rape
- financial – control over spending, or running up huge credit card debts in another’s name, for example.
How the law can help with domestic abuse
Domestic abuse is wrong. At home, you should feel safe.
Domestic abuse can be a criminal offence.
You may need help from a lawyer. A lawyer can help you get protection from court so that you (and your children) can leave a relationship safely.
Get help with domestic abuse
If you or someone else is in danger, you should dial 999.
If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, you can get free help and advice.
Citizens Advice has a list of other organisations that offer support.
Here at Legal Choices, you can learn more about dealing with other family problems.
Article categories: Family
October 24th, 2016
Don’t get a legal fright this Halloween
Halloween is set to be bigger than ever this year. People in the UK now spend more on Halloween than they do on Valentine’s Day. Tesco last year sold around 3 million pumpkins.
Whether you enjoy the spooky events or like to keep your distance, there’s a legal side to Halloween activities that’s good to know.
1. Trick-or-treating: Is it ok?
People in Britain can’t agree about trick-or-treating. Millions do it every Halloween, but 45 per cent see it as an “unwelcome American cultural import”, a 2015 YouGov poll found.
- There’s no legal minimum age limit for a child to go out on their own. But be careful. Find out more from the NSPCC.
- Trick-or-treating is not illegal. But the police have powers to deal with anti-social behaviour. Learn more at Age UK.
2. Horror movies rated 18+: Can under-18s watch them?
Whether you’re a horror film fan or not, there’s no denying they can make big money at the box office.
- Films classified as 18+ are suitable only for adults.
- No one younger than 18 is allowed to watch 18+ rated films in a cinema, or rent or buy copies of them.
- These controls do not apply to watching 18+ rated movies in your home. Find out more from the British Board of Film Classification.
3. Are your Halloween goods faulty?
It doesn’t matter if it’s a dodgy zombie outfit or a pair of vampire fangs that don’t work. If you buy faulty goods, consumer rights protect you.
- The law says goods you buy must be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose, and as described when you buy them.
- Act quickly to get a full refund. Find out more from Which?
October 18th, 2016
Most children in the UK are raised by their birth parents. But more than 3,000 children in England alone are waiting for a family to adopt them.
Have you ever thought about adopting a child? If so, perhaps worries about the law and your right to adopt have stopped you from taking the next steps.
Here are five legal facts about adoption that many people don’t know.
1. I’m single. Can I adopt?
You can adopt if you are single or an unmarried couple. It doesn’t matter what your gender
or sexual orientation is.
2. I’m disabled. Can I adopt?
You can adopt if you are disabled. A large number of children who need adopting are
disabled, so your experience could help.
3. I’m unemployed. Can I get financial support if I adopt?
You can adopt if you are unemployed or on a low wage. You could get tax credits, benefits
and support such as a Disability Living Allowance if you adopt a disabled child.
4. I don’t have my own house. Can I adopt?
In England you can adopt even if you aren’t a home owner. You need to have the space and a safe place for children to grow up in. You may even get priority for council housing.
5. Am I too old to adopt?
As long as you’re over 21, you can adopt. There is no upper age limit. You do need to be healthy enough to look after a child.
British National Adoption week falls in October. You can find out more about becoming an adoptive parent on the First4adoption website.
Here at Legal Choices, you can learn about family issues and sources of support.
Article categories: Family