Teesside firm Cygnet Law is enhancing the service it provides to victims of domestic abuse with the expansion of its specialist team and the launch of a round-the-clock legal helpline called Reach Out.
Redcar-based Cygnet already has a strong reputation for helping victims of domestic abuse and legal experts Stacey Phoenix and Natalie Blake have been recruited to work alongside Associate Solicitor, Gemma Brooks, to provide the 24/7 service.
All three (pictured above) are highly regarded and experienced domestic violence legal practitioners.
The Reach Out helpline will complement the department that Cygnet has established for individuals who have suffered from, or are at risk from, abuse or violence in family relationships or who may know someone who is a victim.
People can either ring the helpline – 07437 597 064 – or *text ‘Out’ to the number and Gemma, Stacey or Natalie will call them back to provide free legal advice.
If necessary, arrangements can be started in relation to applications for non-molestation orders, and orders protecting residence of the family home and the safety of any children.
Additionally, Cygnet’s experts will make callers aware of, and refer them to, local domestic violence support services include local Women’s Refuge provision.
Cygnet director Peter Medd said: “We want to hammer home the message that legal action can be taken against perpetrators of abuse and that victims should be able to ‘reach out’ at any time for expert legal advice to help them do just that.
“Domestic abuse victims often feel trapped and isolated and need to be able to access support at a time they feel safe do so, such as when an abuser is asleep or has gone out, and this does not necessarily happen during office hours.
“However, we would stress that if anyone feels they are in immediate danger of being abused or assaulted they should dial 999.”
Stacey, who qualified as a Solicitor in 2010, has joined Cygnet having established extensive knowledge and a successful track record in all aspects of family law.
In particular, she is committed to raising awareness of legal issues around Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) relationships and parenting.
At the time she was the youngest solicitor to be awarded Law Society Children’s Panel status when she became a panel member in March 2012 at the age of 26.
Natalie is a Paralegal and an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEX) having gained a Law Degree in 2007 from Teesside University.
Natalie’s specialism is supporting individuals who have been faced with domestic violence and abuse, including forced marriage and honour-based violence.
Mr Medd added: “Domestic abuse can happen between couples, relatives and friends and victims can be men or women. It also isn’t always physical – it can be sexual and emotional, which is now recognised by law.”
Gemma Brooks, who joined Cygnet two years ago, is a member of Resolution First for Family Law and the Law Society Family Law Advanced Panel with a speciality in cases involving domestic violence and in Children Act proceedings, completes Cygnet’s Reach Out helpline team.