If you are a victim of domestic abuse, considering your housing choices is a vital way of getting protection for yourself and your family and moving on with your life. Your safety is an important aspect of the choices you make. Domestic Abuse could be from a partner or family member.
Domestic abuse can include acts that, while not physically violent, enable a person to exercise control and power over another. Domestic abuse can be shouting and rows, constantly being insulted or belittled, or being deprived of money. If your partner does anything that frightens or controls you, it could be domestic abuse.
Violence is a criminal offence and against the law
Physical attacks are the most obvious sign of domestic abuse. They do not need to leave visible marks to be damaging.
Sexual abuse can include rape or forced participation in sexual acts you are uncomfortable with.
Mentally abusive acts attack your personality and emotional and well-being rather than your body. Mental abuse is not as obvious as physical abuse, but it can be just as harmful.
This is where one partner controls all of the finance, often depriving the other partner of their financial independence or security. An example of this is where one partner does not give the other enough money to meet everyone’s needs in the household.
What is domestic abuse?
Domestic Violence is the misuse of power and control of one person over another and includes physical, emotional and mental abuse. It is not only carried out by men against women it also occurs in same sex relationships and by women against men.
Domestic abuse includes any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse. The abuse can be psychological, physical, social, financial, or emotional.
If you are in fear of a partner, ex-partner or member of your family, you might be experiencing domestic abuse. 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?
If the answer to some of these questions is yes you might be experiencing domestic abuse.
Get advice and support
You can contact the local domestic abuse specialist service, https://www.thefirststep.org.uk/ Knowsley Domestic Violence Services provide services for male and female victim/survivors, young people and male perpetrators. Some of the services we offer include:
- Advocacy Service
- Programme for male perpetrators who want to change their behaviour
- One to one support for victim/survivors
Information on any of the above services is available by ringing 0151 548 3333.
You can contact the http://www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk on 0808 2000 247 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. http://www.mensadviceline.org.uk/
If you are in a same-sex relationship you can call the National LGBT Domestic Violence Helpline on 0800 999 5428.
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
- you are at risk of assault or injury
- in an emergency
Leaving home immediately
If however you think you need leave your home, try to make a planned move or 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 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. Housing Options can help you with this.
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, birth certificates 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.
Use https://england.shelter.org.uk/get_help/local_services to find a Shelter advice centre or Citizens Advice in your area.
Get homelessness help from the council
You can apply to our Housing Options team as a homeless person if you can’t stay in your home.
The council will give you advice about finding somewhere to live. Some people are 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. You may be asked for supporting evidence, which could include details and dates of incidents, crime reference numbers if relevant and any agency contact details working with you.
Help from Social Services
Some people may be entitled to help from the council’s social services department.
Social services 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 services may be able to help by finding accommodation for you, paying for a deposit or providing financial support.
There are no rules about the kind of help social services have to provide.
Refuges for women
Women experiencing domestic abuse 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.
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.
Contact a Shelter advice centre or Citizens Advice to check what help is available.
Use https://england.shelter.org.uk/get_help/local_services to find help in your area.
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 https://www.childline.org.uk 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 http://thehideout.org.uk about children and young people and domestic abuse and violence.
Get more help
If you need more help call the National Shelter advice line on 0808 800 4444.
The Housing Options service confirms whatever you discuss with the service will always remain completely confidential.
For more information on the Knowsley Housing Options Privacy Notice please access https://knowsleyhousingoptions.org