Housing need for domestic abuse

Call 999 for the police if either you or anyone else is:

  • being attacked
  • at risk of assault or injury
  • being threatened or scared.

Abuse is a pattern of negative behaviour by someone that leaves you feeling hurt or vulnerable.

Abuse may look or feel like you're:

  • being controlled
  • being coerced
  • being threatened or scared by someone
  • experiencing violence or harm against you.

You may also feel that you have no personal freedoms or that you are trapped in your own home.

If you aren't sure if you are suffering from abuse or at risk, visit our domestic abuse pages for more information.

Leaving home immediately

When you're in danger, you may have to leave your home immediately to keep yourself safe. You may not have time to collect any belongings. The important thing is to get yourself and others safe first.

If you have time, take some essentials with you such as:

  • a change of clothes
  • toiletries
  • medication you need to take regularly
  • bankcards, passport, and important documents
  • mobile phone. 

You might be able to stay with friends or relatives while you think about what to do next. Or you may be able to stay at a refuge shelter.

Helplines and resources

These domestic abuse specialist services offer confidential advice and support:

Safety planning

Specialised organisations can help you come up with a safety plan that works for you.

A safety plan may include:

  • pre-arranging where to go if you must leave urgently
  • finding a telephone you can quickly and safely use
  • teaching your children to dial 999 and make up a code word you can use when you need help
  • saving money for emergency bus or taxi fares
  • getting an extra set of keys made for the house and car and keep these in a safe place, with money, a list of telephone numbers for support services and friends, and anything else you may need to leave quickly
  • preparing your children (unless it would be unsafe to do so) and let them know it is not their fault
  • talking to trusted friends or relatives, and your doctor or nurse about how you feel
  • opening a savings account in your name (not a joint account)
  • always taking your children with you or leave them with someone you trust
  • make plans for pets if you are unable to take them with you
  • try to do things to get out of the house, such as walking your dog, going to the shops, or taking out the rubbish
  • consider leaving a 'go' bag of your emergency items with a trusted friend or relative, and consider who may lend you money in an emergency
  • visit a law centre or a solicitor to discuss your options.

Helping you with homelessness

Once you feel safe, contact us for confidential advice. 

Don’t decide to give up your home permanently until you have spoken to an advisor and considered all your options.

You can apply for homelessness support if you can no longer stay in your home. You may be able to get emergency accommodation. And we may be able to help you find longer-term accommodation.

Our social care services may be able to help if you have special care needs, such as if you:

  • are elderly
  • are under the age of 18 
  • have dependent children living with you
  • have left care (or are about to leave)
  • have poor health
  • have a physical or learning disability.

Adult or children's social care support may be able to help find accommodation for you, pay for a housing deposit, or provide other financial support.

Related links