Domestic Abuse: Help with Housing
If you’ve been a victim of domestic abuse, we can help. Our Housing Options officers can give you free and confidential advice.
If you or someone you know is being abused, you need to tell us immediately. We will help anyone, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, including:
- Anyone who has suffered from ‘honour’-based violence linked to religion or faith.
- Anyone with a disability, or physical or mental health issue. We will work with specialist agencies in this case.
- Young people. If you are aged 16 or 17 we will work with relevant organisations to support and house you if necessary.
Our Housing Options officers will discuss your situation and give you free and confidential advice. They can also:
- Help you find a safe place
- Give you advice about court orders
- Arrange home protection installation
- Help you contact local support services
- Help you get financial support from the Local Welfare Assistance Fund
Where to get advice
If you're living in a violent or abusive relationship, get advice and support as soon as possible. You can:
- Speak to our Housing Options team
- Call Bournemouth’s 24hr helpline on 01202 547755
You can get help from any council in the country.
You may be entitled to emergency accommodation such as a refuge. You’ll be able to get temporary accommodation in a safe environment, as well as practical advice and emotional support.
It’s important to seek advice. If you have been living in:
- Council and Housing Association property - you should get legal advice for your occupation rights. Possibly getting the tenancy under your name. You should contact your landlord as soon as possible and speak to a solicitor.
- Your own home -you should get legal advice to stop the violent person coming into or near your home.
- Private rented accommodation - you should tell the landlord what has happened. Ask if they are willing to evict the violent person from your home and grant you a fresh tenancy in your name only.
Yes. In certain circumstances we fund Target Hardening, which can provide a range of security measures to help you stay safe at home. This can include:
- Lock changes
- Extra door and window locks and reinforcement
- Security lights
- A lifeline
- Fences and gates
- A sanctuary or ‘safe’ room
If someone near you is causing problems, get advice before taking any action. Councils and Housing Associations can stop their tenants using anti-social behaviour. If the perpetrator is in private rented accommodation, the landlord can take action to evict them.
You can stop an ex-partner from harassing you with the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. This gives the court power to impose restraining orders like the Occupation and Non-molestation Orders.
If you have suffered from violence, you can contact the Police. Ask for the community safety officer.
We recommend not leaving your home without speaking to a housing options officer, solicitor or relevant professional first. It’s a good idea to stay with friends or family while you think about what to do next. Once you are out of danger, you have a number of accommodation options
- Think about what you would need if you had to leave your home quickly - clothing, money, medication, passports etc.
- If you have children, try to include a few of their toys to help reassure them.
- Keep important phone numbers handy so you can get support quickly.
In an emergency, call 999 immediately.
Court orders fall into two categories:
1) Non-Molestation Orders - your partner cannot use or threaten to use violence against you. They cannot "harass, pester or intimidate" you or anyone living with you. This includes making threatening phone calls or texts. They also can’t get someone else to harass you.
2) Occupation Orders - this can stop the offender from entering your home, or certain parts of your home. It can also consider who will repair and maintain the home. Who will pay the mortgage or rent and who can use and care for things in the home.
If a court order is broken, the offender can be fined or imprisoned in certain circumstances. Or the order can be altered to offer you more protection. You should always tell your solicitor if the order isn't working.
There are Domestic Violence Courts in Bournemouth to deal with high-risk cases.
Video-link facilities mean victims don’t have to attend court, and information can be shared with relevant agencies.
Sentencing will aim to re-educate offenders and stop them from offending again. It aims to make reporting domestic abuse easier and offer more support to victims through the Criminal Justice Process.