Domestic abuse housing support
Domestic abuse comes in many forms, including physical, psychological, sexual, emotional, or financial abuse. Domestic abuse can be experienced by anyone, regardless of race, class, age, disability, gender or sexuality.
There are a number of local and national support services that offer advice and support. Details of these services can be found on our page on Domestic Abuse and Violence Against Women and Girls
In an emergency, always dial 999. If it is not an emergency, but you wish to speak to police, call 101.
Support with your housing
If you are experiencing domestic abuse, and you are worried about losing your home, support is available. There are several actions we can take to prevent this from happening and we can also help you leave safely if this is what you want to do.
- Help to keep your social tenancy
If you are a Council tenant or live in a Housing Association property, you should contact your Housing Officer or Neighbourhood Services Co-ordinator to discuss this matter in confidence.
If you are in temporary accommodation provided by the Council and you are at risk of domestic abuse, you should contact the team on 0207 361 3008 to discuss your situation and to organise a move to a different property.
You should not give up your home permanently until you have spoken to an adviser and considered all your options.
Your housing provider may be able to help with the following:
- Helping you to get emergency accommodation whilst looking at your housing options, such as transferring to a different social tenancy, finding accommodation in the private rented sector, or helping you with a mutual exchange.
- Helping you to stay in your home and getting the person who is harming you to leave.
- Helping you report the abuse or violence to the Police.
- Supporting you to get a court order to stop your abuser harming or threatening you. Further information on how to get legal support can be found on the Gov.uk website.
- Helping you to speak with friends or relatives about what you can do temporarily, if you need to leave your home immediately.
- Help you to make your property secure using the Sanctuary Scheme.
- Sanctuary Scheme
This is a free scheme for people affected by domestic abuse who want to improve the safety and security of their home. The scheme is available to anyone, irrespective of tenure, providing it is safe for them to remain in the property and the perpetrator does not live there as well.
The scheme offers a range of works to increase safety, with every response being tailored to meet the needs of individuals and their specific circumstance. Standard works can include changing windows and door locks, installing grilles, and strengthening doors.
For more information you can contact our Community Safety Team at [email protected] or speak to your Housing Officer or Neighbourhood Services Co-ordinator.
- Help to leave your home
If you need to leave your home immediately, you can apply to any local authority as a homeless person/household. Local authorities have a duty to assess the circumstances of your homelessness, identify what your housing and support needs are, and work with you to find you somewhere to live that is safe and secure.
If you are homeless as a result of domestic abuse, you will have an automatic priority need if the abuse meets the definition in the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 and will not need to meet the usual vulnerability test. If you are eligible and can access mainstream benefits and housing assistance (i.e. you are not subject to immigration control), local authorities are required to secure emergency accommodation for you while your homeless application is being progressed.
- Moving into the private rented sector
Our Accommodation Solutions Team can help you to find a tenancy in the private sector, inside or outside of London. If you have a housing application with the Council and you find your own tenancy, you can provide the details of the property to your Housing Officer to see if you qualify for any financial assistance in the form of a deposit or bond.
For more information, please see our Contact Us page.
You may also want to consider being supported by Revive which is a relocation service for domestic abuse survivors. Revive provides housing options for those fleeing domestic abuse with no outlet to escape. Contact [email protected] or call 0203 823 1072 for further information.
- Help to move to a refuge/safe house
Refuges provide somewhere safe for abuse survivors who need somewhere to stay whilst planning their next steps. There are also specialist services available at refuges to accommodate families, as well as individuals with multiple support needs including drug and alcohol addiction.
- If you're a woman, you can access a refuge by calling the National Domestic Abuse Helpline or you can visit Shelter's directory.
- If you're a man, you can access a refuge by contacting the Men's Advice Line.
- Helpline staff will tell you which refuges have spaces and can help you with any questions you might have.
We have two refuges within the borough, run by Hestia. If you are looking for a refuge space, you can call 0808 169 9975 or email [email protected]. Their lines are open Monday –Friday, 8am -8pm.
Hestia also have a free mobile app which provides support and information to anyone who is concerned that someone they know might be experiencing domestic abuse, and a community-based group for women run, in partnership with the charity Angelou, by survivors for survivors.
For more information, please visit Hestia’s website.
For more information and support relating to domestic abuse on our Domestic Abuse and Violence Against Women and Girls page.
Last updated: 1 February 2022