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

Ask the council for help

You can ask any council for homelessness help if you're at risk in your home or can't stay there because of domestic abuse.

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

They must help with emergency housing if you're pregnant or have children with you, unless you don't qualify due to immigration restrictions.

If you're single, the council only provides emergency housing if they think you're vulnerable. This could be, for example, because of the abuse or due to physical or mental health problems. 

To decide if you are vulnerable, the council look at what has happened to you and any support you have. It can help if you can provide:

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

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.

Contact a housing adviser online, by phone or in person

Make a safety plan

A safety plan can help you make decisions and protect yourself and your children if you're in a violent relationship. It can help with plans to leave and keeping safe once you've left.

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

Staying safe in your home

You may be able to get an injunction to stop your partner or ex-partner from entering your home. You can:

The council or the police could help to make your home safer through extra security measures such as changing the locks and installing an alarm.

Find out how to cover your tracks on the internet if you have an abusive partner or ex-partner.

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

Samaritans
116 123
Free, 24 hours


Last updated - 03 Apr 2018

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