If you have experienced violence or threats of violence in your relationship, you should seek help as a matter of urgency.
Staying Safe In Your Home
There are a number of things that you can do to help safeguard you and your family in your home, but it is important for you to get the support you need.
Domestic abuse is an issue that can be difficult to talk to others about, but it is important that you seek the support of your friends, family and even neighbours, so they are aware of your situation. There are also a number of organisations who have trained staff who will understand your situation and can offer you support and advice:
- The National Domestic Violence Helpline 0808 2000 247
- Colchester & Tendring Women's Refuge 01206 500 585
- Men's Advice Line 0808 801 0327
Talk To Your Landlord
Whether you are a social housing tenant, or rent from a private landlord, you shouldn't be afraid to talk to your landlord about the issues you have been having; this should not put your tenancy at risk. If your landlord is aware of your situation they will be more likely to ensure that any repairs are dealt with quickly should your security be at risk and some landlords may be able to offer you extra security.
If you are a Council or Housing Association tenant your Tenancy Management Officer could offer you additional support by way of welfare visits or referring you to a support organisation.
In some cases of domestic abuse you can apply for a civil injunction or protection order to protect you and your family. An injunction is a court order that requires someone to do or not to do something. Further advice on these matters can be obtained via the police, a solicitor or support agencies.
The National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV) can help with getting an injunction. Telephone 0800 970 2070 or text NCDV to 60777 for further information. You can also visit their Website www.ncdv.org.uk
If you decide that you want to remain in your home, the police may be able to refer you to have a home security visit from the Police's Crime Prevention Officer. They will be able to give you advice on keeping yourself safe in your home. If additional security is needed to enhance your properties security, the council may be able to help through its Sanctuary Scheme. Please see our Sanctuary Scheme Leaflet for further information.
Should your situation escalate and you feel you need to leave your home due to domestic abuse; you should seek advice at the earliest opportunity in order to allow plenty of time to look at your options and to prepare for any changes.
If you wish to discuss your situation with a Housing Options Officer please find our contact details on our Housing & Homelessness Advice pages.