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Merseyside Police release advice for victims of domestic abuse concerned about staying at home
The domestic violence lockdown is worrying Merseyside Police who are now encouraging everyone to become familiar with options within the 999 system. If people are not free to speak but are able to make a noise or press 55, it alerts the BT operator to the fact that you need help and they can then connect to the police. For example, if you can only make a noise such as tapping the handset, coughing, crying or even talking to the offender, then these actions will alert the attention of the BT operator. Mark Groves, Chief Executive of the National Centre for Domestic Violence, comments on the initiative: During these extremely difficult times, we need victims of domestic abuse to be aware of every initiative that is available to help them. Many victims cannot speak on the phone or even use an app for fear of reprisals from their abuser, but if they can make a covert call to alert the police they are in danger this could save lives. Katha Lunt, experienced domestic abuse lawyer from our Liverpool branch, comments: The message from Merseyside Police is clear. Protection from domestic violence remains a priority during these difficult times. Domestic Violence helplines are reporting a significant increase in telephone calls and visitors to their websites. With the country on lockdown, there is a real risk those suffering domestic violence will feel they have no access to protective measures, at a time when they are being required to spend more and more time with the perpetrator of their abuse. We must ensure the message is received by those who require protection from domestic abuse; help is still available. Since the government’s restriction on all but essential travel, steps have been taken within the Justice System to ensure people continue to have access to urgent protective orders including Non-Molestation and Occupation Orders. Here at National Legal Service Solicitors Liverpool, whilst working from home over… [...]
Paralegals are generally responsible for assisting a solicitor run their cases, without actually representing clients themselves. While they do not have to have any legal qualifications, nearly 95% of all the paralegals working at the National Legal Service have completed their GDL or LPC.
On occasion of the inaugural National Paralegal Day, we believe it is important to highlight and raise the profile of the often ‘lesser recognised’ members of the profession:
- Traditionally, paralegals were viewed as support or admin staff, but actually firms have become reliant on them to do fee earning work previously done by junior solicitors. Therefore in practice, there is often little to no difference between an experienced paralegal and a newly-qualified solicitor (NQ).
- The recent legal aid cuts has resulted in an increasing number of litigants unable to secure legal aid or able to afford solicitors. Paralegals particularly in Domestic Abuse matters have filled in this gap by taking on advocacy in legal aid cases
- Many paralegals are already as academically qualified as a trainee solicitor and have had training in advocacy.
Kirsty Richards, Head of Family, says, ‘At NLS, we have a team of paralegals trained in advocacy, who over the last one year have done over 2000 Court Applications. Some members of the team are extremely experienced advocates who have done more court appearances than junior solicitors in the firm’
Harun Matin, Head of Crime says ‘Paralegals are essential to the growth & success of our firm. As an ABS structure, we allow our paralegals the opportunity to work on cases they have never done before and to really seize this opportunity’
Here at the National Legal Service we took part in Jolly Jumper Day, helping to raise vital funds for this festive season.
By wearing our Christmas jumpers on Friday 14th December we were able to get everyone in the office together and in to the Christmasspirit whilst saving children and changing futures. By wearing a jumper we could help bring essential food, healthcare, education and protections to millions of children around the world who are missing out.
Whether it was a terribly tacky Christmas jumper, a pair of antlers or a Bah Humbag hat for the Grinch in the office, we all got involved. We collected £2 for every jumper for Save the Children to help children not just survive, but to thrive. We managed to Raise over £100 just through wearing a jumper and selling some festive cakes.
Jolly Jumper day was also a perfect way for the National Legal Service to get our London office together and partake in some festive cheer. We sold some lovely homemade cakes and donated the money to Save the Children and did our office secret Santa and our first year of NLS office awards which was a great way to get everyone in the office involved and engaged. We even had our offices out of London partake in the jolly jumper festivities.
For most of us, Christmas conjures up images of cracker jokes, mulled wine and a haze of Christmas parties and families opening presents around a Christmas tree. However, for others, Christmas is the most feared time of the whole year. Domestic violence rises significantly during the festive period. Across the country, refuges and police forces are currently preparing for a rise in domestic violence cases and referrals. Last year Sussex Police arrested 262 people in connection with domestic violence – double the previous year. What’s more, according to UK government figures from 2012, assault and domestic murders increase 25 per cent during the festive period and incidents go up by a third on Christmas Day itself.
While incidents of domestic violence rise at Christmas, calls to Domestic Violence Helplines actually decrease during the festive period. According to Polly Neate, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, this is because, “Many people want to keep it together for the children and so they wait until Christmas is over to call. Plus, if they are in close quarters with the perpetrator, they are probably being monitored very closely”. We at the National Legal service will be doing all that we can to help those that come to us after being effected by domestic violence this festive season.
During this time it is important to remember all those who are less fortunate then us, including those sleeping on the streets this Christmas, battling terminal illness and those spending Christmas alone or in abusive relationships. We urge that everyone take a moment to reflect and do their part in helping those less fortunate.
On behalf of the National Legal Service, we wish you all a Merry Christmas and a positive and successful New year.
Over 13,000 legal professionals, colleagues, clients and friends took part in the London Legal Walk on 21st May 2018.
So far, the walk has raised £580,000. That is ahead of the target reached this time last year and so we can hope to beat last year’s amount of £810,000.
Thirty-three individuals took part on behalf of the National Legal Service from our Moorgate and Guildford branches, and managed to hit our target to raise £1000 towards the cause. On top of this, the National Legal Service will further donate £500 making our total raised £1500. We had a fantastic day walking the 10k park route whilst enjoying the sunshine.
The National Legal Service would like to congratulate all those that took part and thank all those who sponsored us to walk!