Domestic abuse

Domestic abuse is a crime, and includes any type of physical, emotional, sexual, financial or psychological abuse between people in a relationship.

What is domestic abuse?

It can affect all members of the community regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, disability, sexuality, or religion.

Every person has the right to live their life free from violence, fear, abuse or neglect. We recognise the fears of those suffering from domestic violence; and we want to help those suffering from it to be able to seek help.

How we can help

We understand that the first call is a big step.

Your call will be dealt with confidentially and sensitively; you do not have to face your problems alone.

We are committed to acting quickly, effectively and sympathetically to anyone who is experiencing domestic abuse. We will respond in a sensitive and supportive manner and anything you tell us will be treated in the strictest of confidence.

You can report domestic abuse in a few different ways:

 

We will:

  • Never disclose your personal details
  • Keep all of our responsibilities to you as a tenant
  • Offer support and advice
  • Offer same-sex/safe place interviews
  • Discuss relevant organisations that provide long-term emotional outreach support when/if you require it
  • Be sensitive and understanding when discussing your housing options
  • React quickly and effectively to make sure you are safe
  • Take relevant action against those who are responsible for domestic abuse using the conditions of our tenancy agreements
  • Give you advice and practicable help with your tenancy and other issues
  • Provide additional security measures to your property if you need them, or if it is appropriate to do so.

Types of domestic abuse

Domestic abuse can encompass, but is not limited to:

  • Physical violence, for example: kicking, punching, pushing, slapping, restraining, damaging items of sentimental value, stabbing, attempted murder, murder
  • Sexual violence, for example: non-consensual sexual activity, including rape, sexual assault, making you do things you don’t want to do, or refusing safe sex
  • Financial, for example: taking or controlling your money, running up debts, withholding benefit books or bank cards
  • Emotional/Psychological, for example: making you unhappy, verbal abuse, humiliation, constant criticism, intimidation, isolation, enforced trivial routines
  • Coercive/controlling, for example: restricting freedom, controlling who the victim sees, where they go, what they wear and what they do, imprisonment, stalking and forced marriage.

Frequently asked questions

Will the person I am reporting know that I’ve asked for help?

We will never inform the person responsible for the abuse that we have spoken to you. Your safety is our main concern and we will not take any action against this person without speaking to you first.

In most cases we will only take action if you give us your permission or consent. Exceptions to this could occur if we feel that you or someone else is at immediate significant risk of harm.

Where can I go for emergency help if I’m homeless?

If you are homeless, or worried that you may become homeless due to domestic abuse, you can get urgent advice and help from the Housing Department of your Local Authority who will assess your situation and decide whether they have a duty to give you housing, or other practicable help. They can also give you advice on where else to go for help and what your rights are. All Local Authorities have a 24-hour telephone service for people in emergency situations.

You could also go to your GP, health visitor, or social worker who can get advice on your behalf. The police can also offer assistance and advice in relation to domestic abuse.

Can I get help if I’m a victim of forced marriage or ‘honour’-based violence?

Yes.

You have the right to choose. If you or someone you know is being forced in to a marriage or is a victim of ‘honour’-based violence, contact Choice Forced Marriage Helpline on 08005 999 365.

How can I stay safe online?

If you are concerned that someone may see what you have been looking at online, there are a few things you can do to minimise the chances of them finding out.

You can delete your browser history by following the guides below. Click on the link for whichever browser you use for instructions on how to do it.

Most internet browsers also have a ‘Private Browser’ mode you can use. Entering this mode allows you to view web pages without any history, cookies, or temporary internet files being saved. This allows you to cover your tracks while you browse without having to remember to delete everything afterwards.

The safest way to cover your tracks is to access the internet from a computer at an internet café, local library, or a friend/family member’s house.

What if I need to leave home immediately?

If you need to leave your home immediately, make sure you have all of your personal documents and essential belonging easily accessible, for example:

  • Contact details for the local refuge
  • Contact details for family member who can provide refuge
  • Legal documents (passport/birth certificate/driving licence)
  • Money/bank cards
  • Change of clothes for yourself and children

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