Domestic Abuse and Homelessness

If you or someone you know is suffering from domestic abuse, there is help available. This advice looks at what you can do if you are unable to stay in your home because of domestic abuse.

What is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse includes any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse. The abuse can be psychological, physical, social, financial, or emotional. Domestic abuse can happen between two people who are or were intimate partners or family members, regardless of their gender or sexuality.

If you are in fear of a partner, ex-partner or member of your family, you might be experiencing domestic abuse. Does your partner or a member of your family often:

  • Call you names and make you feel bad about yourself?
  • Make you afraid by threatening you or your children?
  • Behave violently towards you?
  • Stop you seeing your friends or family?
  • Keep you without money?
  • Harm you or make you feel you could be seriously harmed?

If the answer to some of these questions is yes you might be experiencing domestic abuse.

 

Get help now

If you are a woman you can contact the National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247. If you are a man experiencing domestic abuse you can contact the Men's Advice Line on 0808 801 0327. If you are in a same-sex relationship you can call the National LGBT Domestic Violence Helpline (galop) on 0800 999 5428. All these services aim to offer you the opportunity to talk confidentially to someone about your situation and to find out what your options are. These services aim to offer a wide range of support such as advocacy, safety planning, peer support, safety measures in the home, children’s therapeutic interventions and more. They also offer a programme for perpetrators of domestic abuse who want help in changing their behaviour.

Call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 if you feel in despair and want someone to listen to you and provide emotional support.

 

Call the police on 999:

  • If your personal safety is threatened
  • If you are at risk of assault or injury
  • in an emergency

 

Leaving home immediately

If you feel you are at risk of harm there are alternatives you could explore such as the Sanctuary Scheme which can carry out safety works in your home such as changing locks, fire proof letter boxes and panic rooms. You can access this free service by speaking to your housing options advisor, housing association or the police. If, however, you think you need leave your home, try to arrange temporary housing from the council before you leave.

Not everyone leaving home due to violence is entitled to emergency accommodation.

You could stay with friends or relatives (if this is a safe option) while you think about what to do next. If you're a woman leaving domestic abuse, try to find a place in a women's refuge where additional support is available through being assigned your own support worker,  who assesses your current and future needs including rehousing.

Take some essentials with you such as a change of clothes, toiletries and any medication you need to take regularly. Try to bring important items if they are available, such proof of benefits, National Insurance Number, birth certificate for you and you’re family , photo ID/eligibility proof (if you not originally from the UK), your passport, bank and credit cards and mobile phone.

Don't make a decision to give up your home permanently until you have spoken to an adviser and considered all your options.

 

Get homelessness help from Derby Homes

You can apply to Derby Homes as a homeless person if you can't stay in your home (even if you are an existing Derby Homes tenant). Derby Homes will give you advice about finding somewhere to live and in some cases you may be entitled to emergency accommodation.

If the Council has a duty to find you somewhere to live, you will be asked to provide details of your situation (where possible). You may be asked for supporting evidence, which could include details and dates of incidents. You can bring a friend or an adviser with you for support.

 

Help from Health and social Care Services

You may be entitled to help from Derby City Council’s Health and Social Care Services. They might be able to help if you:

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

Social Care may help by finding accommodation for you, paying for a deposit or providing financial support.

There are no rules about the kind of help Health and Social Care have to provide. Find details of help available in Derby at: www.derby.gov.uk/health-and-social-care

 

Refuges for women

If you are a woman experiencing domestic abuse, you may be able to stay in a women's refuge. Some refuges are specifically for women from certain backgrounds, such as Irish or Asian women.

Please be aware that some refuges have an age restriction on male dependants (children). In such cases the council would seek alternative accommodation for you and your family. Staff at refuges can give you advice about your situation.

Contact the National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247 for more information about refuges.

 

Refuges for men

If you are man who has to leave home because of domestic abuse, you can make a homeless application to the council. There is limited specialist housing for men experiencing domestic abuse, however there may still be options and support available to you.

 

Help for children and young people

If you or someone else in your family is being hurt at home, you may not be sure what you can do about it. Domestic abuse is not your fault and you won't get into trouble for telling someone about it. The first thing is to tell someone else about what is happening to you. You can tell a teacher, a neighbour, a friend or a friend's parent. You can call Childline on 0800 1111 for free. They won't tell anyone else you are calling unless you are in immediate danger. They can tell you about places where you can get help.

Find out more from The Hideout about children and young people and domestic abuse and violence.

 

Confidentiality

Whatever you discuss with Derby Homes will always remain completely confidential.

 

List of contacts

Derby Homes Housing Options Service01332 640085

Police (Emergency)999

National Domestic Violence Helpline0808 2000 247

Men's Advice Line0808 801 0327

National LGBT Domestic Violence Helpline (GALOP)0800 999 5428

Samaritans08457 90 90 90

Childline0800 1111