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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Domestic abuse

Speak to someone urgently if you’re being abused in your home.  Call Women's Aid for help and support on 0808 802 1414. Women’s Aid is the number one charity that helps people affected by domestic abuse. It provides help, advice and counselling to men and women. In an emergency call 999 for help.Staying in your home if you’ve been abused

Domestic abuse covers verbal, emotional and physical abuse by a partner or family member.  A specialist adviser like those at Women’s Aid and the Men’s Advice Line can help you understand how to stop the abuse.

Staying in your home

If you feel that you would be safe staying in your home as long as your abuser left you can get an injunction which can order the abuser to

  • stop being abusive
  • stay away from your home and
  • stop contacting you.

You don’t have to own your home to get a court order.  Call the police if you have a court order and your abuser has broken the terms of this order.

Staying in your home is only an option if you

  • will feel safe in the property and
  • can afford the cost of paying for and heating your home.

Leaving your home

Leaving your home may be the best option if you don’t feel safe or you are at risk.  You may be able to move in temporarily with family or friends or get a place in a refuge.  Discuss your options with an advice agency that specialises in domestic abuse like Women’s Aid or the Men’s Advice Line.

Items to take with you

If you’re planning to leave home think about what you’ll need to bring with you:

  • money, bank account details, credit cards
  • passports, driving licence, birth certificates for you and any children
  • school and medical records
  • clothes and toiletries
  • prescription medication
  • information about your housing; tenancy agreements or mortgage details

Leaving in a crisis

You can contact Women’s Aid 24 hours a day on 0808 82 1414 for help.  If it’s safe try to stay with friends or family.  If you’ve left your home for good and you’ve got nowhere to stay go to your local Housing Executive office.  The Housing Executive will have a legal responsibility to help you if you are homeless and you have children or are vulnerable in some way.

Finding a new home

You may be able to return to your home if you feel safe.  If this isn’t an option you can

  • ask the Housing Executive to help you because you are homeless
  • go on the waiting list for housing
  • look for a privately rented home
  • buy a property, perhaps using the co-ownership scheme.

Getting help

Talking to someone about your situation is the first step in stopping abuse.  It’s a hard step to take but it’s important to understand what you can do to make your life and home safer.

You can get help from

The Hideout has information for children and young people who are living with domestic abuse or are in abusive relationships.