DOMESTIC ABUSE OR VIOLENCE: Victims can talk to a legal aid solicitor or the Civil Legal Advice before getting any relevant evidence. But, the legal team will need to see proof of domestic abuse or violence before they decide whether you qualify for legal aid.
What Counts as Domestic Abuse
For legal aid purposes, abuse means you or your children have either:
- Been victims of violence or domestic abuse.
- Been victims of financial control (e.g. denied access to joint bank account).
Where to get Evidence of Domestic Violence
As a rule, the victim would need to show that they were at risk of harm in some way, from an ex-partner. If that happens, you can ask to get the evidence from a range of organisations, including:
- A domestic violence support service
- A health professional (e.g. a health visitor, a doctor, midwife, nurse or psychologist)
- A multi-agency risk assessment conference (MARAC)
- A refuge manager
- Social services
- The courts
- The police
- The provider of any benefits that you received
- Your bank (e.g. statements, loan documents, and credit card accounts)
- Your employer (including an education or training provider)
Using Sample Letters to get Evidence
There are several sample letters available to help you get the proof you need. Download the most relevant sample letter from the GOV.UK website and then print it off.
- ‘Sample letters to get evidence of domestic violence‘
- ‘Sample letters to get evidence of child abuse‘
Send or take the sample letter to the police, the courts, or the medical and social services. Give the form to the person you want to supply you with evidence for your case.
Note: The person you ask to provide evidence will help you to fill in the details. There may be a fee for this part of the service.
Once You Have Documented Evidence
Having secured the evidence you need, you can then show it to the adviser at Civil Legal Advice (CLA) or your legal aid solicitor.