Help if you’re homeless: domestic abuse

If you have to leave your home because of violence, abuse or threatening behaviour, get help and find a safe place to stay.

Report domestic abuse

Domestic violence or abuse is a crime – the police can help to protect you.

Call 999 if you or your children are in danger now

Find out how to recognise domestic abuse at Refuge.

Find a place in a women's refuge

You might be able to get safe housing and support in a women's refuge – call:

National Domestic Violence Helpline
0808 2000 247
Free, 24 hours

Apply to the council for help or emergency housing

You can ask any council for homelessness help if you can't stay in your home or you'd be at risk if you stayed there.

The council must look at what they can do to either keep you safe in your home or find you somewhere safe to live.

The council must help with emergency housing if you can't stay in your home and you're pregnant or have children with you, unless it can't help due to immigration restrictions.

You usually need to show that you're vulnerable because of the abuse if you're single. The council will look at what has happened to you and any support you have when deciding if you're vulnerable.

You should be given the option of being interviewed by a council officer of the same sex.

It can help your application if you have:

  • witness statements from friends or professionals
  • crime reference numbers, if police have been involved

Find out more about applying to the council for help with housing.

Planning to leave your home

Get advice from a Shelter adviser about your rights before you leave your home permanently.

You may be able to stay in your home or move out for a short time while you plan what to do.

Call Shelter’s free advice helpline on 0808 800 4444

Make a safety plan

If you make a safety plan you can work out how you'll keep safe if you experience future violence or abuse.

Find out how to make a safety plan from Women's Aid.

Staying safe in your home

You can stop your partner entering your home by getting an injunction to protect you and your family from domestic abuse. You can:

If the order bans your partner from your home you can make it safer by changing the locks and installing an alarm.

For advice on how to keep safe call the police on 101.

If your partner is still living in your home, you can hide your internet activity. Find out more from the National Domestic Violence Helpline.

Get advice and support

You can get help and advice from:

National Domestic Violence Helpline
0808 2000 247
Free, 24 hours
Women only

Men's Advice Line
0808 801 0327
Free, Monday - Friday 9am-5pm
Men only

National LGBT Domestic Abuse Helpline
0800 999 5428
Free, daily except Saturday

Karma Nirvana
0800 5999 247
Free, Monday - Friday 9am-5pm
Honour based abuse and forced marriage

Rights of Women
020 7251 6577 
Free legal advice for women, limited opening hours

116 123
Free, 24 hours

Last updated - 19 Mar 2018

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