What is a non-molestation order?
Non-molestation orders (NMOs) are court orders that help to protect people who have experienced domestic violence. It also helps to protect those who have been harassed or intimidated by their ex partner.
If an NMO is in place, it forbids the abuser from harassing the applicant and can also apply to the applicant’s children if they are below the age of 18.
NMOs also forbid the accused from asking other people to harass, intimidate or use violence against the applicant. An NMO can also forbid the accused from damaging the applicant’s possessions.
Who can apply?
In order to apply for an NMO, you and your ex-partner must be related or associated with each other in one of the following ways:
- You are/were married
- You are/were in a civil partnership
- You are/were engaged to marry or enter into a civil partnership
- You have cohabited with one another
- You live/have lived in the same house
- You have a child together/you share parental responsibility for the same child
- You are parties to the same family proceedings
- You have had an ‘intimate personal relationship of significant duration’
What happens if an NMO is breached?
Breaching an NMO is a criminal offence. If your ex-partner breaks the terms of the NMO, the police have the power to arrest him or her.
Can separating couples with an NMO go to mediation?
If you have an NMO in place that states that there should be no communication between you and your ex, then the only way a mediator can see you is if:
- The NMO is lifted
- The wording of the NMO is amended to say that the separated parents can communication in mediation sessions.
If neither of the two are applicable and you attend mediation with an NMO in place, you are in danger of being arrested.
Please note: an NMO doesn’t 100% guarantee your safety.
Learn more about Non-molestation orders by visiting Women’s Aid.