Victims of domestic abuse
This information is to assist victims of domestic abuse with their housing options.
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.
Where to get help and advice
If you are experiencing domestic abuse there are many places you can go for advice. Visit the Domestic Abuse pages on this websitefor further information.
It is important to remember that if you are experiencing domestic abuse you are not to blame and you can get help. You can get furthur information on the Open the Door website.
If you or anyone you know is in immediate danger, telephone the police on 999.
Help with housing options
If you feel you are at risk of harm and you think you need to leave your home, you should contact the Council’s Housing Options team as soon as possible. Housing Options can provide confidential advice and discuss and arrange with you alternative housing options including finding a place of safety (refuge), helping you to stay safe in your home, or looking at alternative permanent housing in the private sector, or from the Council’s housing register. Housing Options can also refer you to specialist agencies for further advice and support. Do not make a decision to give up your home permanently until you have spoken to a Housing Options adviser and considered all your options.
Making a homeless application
If you are threatened with homelessness within 56 days, you can make an application for assistance to the council under the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017. You may be threatened with homelessness if, for example, a perpetrator is soon to be released from custody. The council has a duty to assess your case and agree a personalised plan with you and provide assistance to try and prevent your homelessness. This could be through the Sanctuary Scheme, for example.
If you are actually homeless and cannot return home the council will help you find alternative accommodation or may offer you temporary accommodation if you have an apparent priority need. You may be in priority need if you are pregnant or have dependent children or you are considered to be vulnerable as a result of having to leave accommodation because of violence. You may be asked for supporting evidence, which could include details and dates of incidents. You will be advised in writing of the decision on your homeless application. Whatever you discuss with the Housing Options team will remain confidential.
You may prefer to stay with friends or relatives while you think about what to do next.
If you do leave your home take some essentials with you such as a change of clothes, toiletries and any medication you need to take regularly. Try to take important items such as your passport, bank and credit cards and mobile phone
For further information on housing options or to apply for assistance contact the Housing Options team.
Our accommodation finder self help pack can be used by anyone trying to find accommodation in the Cheshire West and Chester area. You can increase your chances of finding something suitable by considering the full range of housing options available to you as well as knowing what you can afford.