Domestic abuse help
Help for you if you are suffering DOMESTIC ABUSE
This page provides some basic information for people suffering domestic abuse who need housing advice in Cherwell.
For more information, or to discuss your situation, please contact our Housing Options Team.
If you are in fear of a partner, ex-partner or member of your family, you might be experiencing domestic abuse.
For example, do they 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?
Helplines and support organisations
You can contact the Domestic Violence Assist on 0800 195 8699 if you’re a woman experiencing domestic abuse.
You can talk confidentially to someone about your situation and to find out what your options are.
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 on 0800 999 5428.
Call the police on 101 (if it is not an emergency) or 999 in an emergency, if your personal safety is threatened.
The Women’s Aid directory of local services is at https://www.womensaid.org.uk/domestic-abusedirectory/
Help to stay in your home
If you feel that you want to stay in your home, you can get legal advice about obtaining an injunction.
An injunction is a court order that either protects you or your child from being harmed or threatened by the person who’s abused you (this is called a ‘non-molestation order’) or decides who can live in the family home or enter the surrounding area – this is called an ‘occupation order’
You could obtain an occupation order even if you do not own any interest in the property you have been living in, or you are not a tenant.
Domestic Violence Assist provide free confidential help and can assist in obtaining injunction orders to survivors of domestic violence regardless of their financial circumstances, race, gender or sexual orientation. Legal Aid is available subject to means testing. You can call 0800 195 8699 or dvassist.org.uk.
Moving to a safe place
Make sure you plan your departure safely. Call the Freephone 24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline, run by Refuge and Women’s Aid on 0808 2000 247, they can help you talk through your options. The helpline acts as the gateway to all services across the country and helps women find a space in a refuge.
If you don’t have any friends or relatives or other accommodation that you can stay in safely, there are specialist refuges all over the UK. Refuges are not just emergency accommodation – you will be supported to rebuild your life.
If you have decided to leave home, 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 such as your passport, bank and credit cards and mobile phone.
Do not make a decision to give up your home permanently until you have obtained advice about your rights the Council’s Housing Options Team, Citizens Advice or other advice agency.
You are likely to require legal advice from a solicitor and can find contact details for one at solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk
Seeking help from a Local Authority
If you are a victim of domestic abuse and you are not safe in your home, you may be able to seek assistance from a local authority as homeless. It is important that any local authority you approach for assistance is able to provide you a place of safety. This is unlikely to be in the immediate area you are fleeing from. Homeless legislation specifically states that you do not need a connection to the local authority you approach for help if you are a victim of abuse.
The local authority will be required to make appropriate enquiries into your situation and you should supply them with all supporting information you have. They may provide you with temporary accommodation pending the outcome of their enquiries and while they try to help you resolve your situation. There will be a duty to work with you to develop a ‘Personalised Housing Plan’. This will outline the steps that you and your housing officer should take to find you more settled housing in a safe place.
Further information and advice on housing solutions can be obtained from the following organisations: Cherwell District Council Tel: 01295 227004 Housing Options Team, Bodicote House, Bodicote, Banbury, OX15 4AA Email: email@example.com , cherwell.gov.uk/housing, Citizens Advice North Oxon and South Northants Tel: 0844 411 1444 26 Cornhill, Banbury, OX16 5NG and canosn.org.uk