Domestic abuse

Walking away from domestic abuse

Quick exit

If you decide to leave your home or your abuser makes you leave there are several housing options available to you.

If you need to leave your home, please make a homeless application or contact our housing options team on 01707 357 613 .

Alternatively, you can contact the Safer Places Gateway on 03301 025811 who can help you to access refuge services in Hertfordshire.

You may also wish to consider the following options.

  • Stay with family and friends - this may be a safe option for you and give you some support. However, it is possible that your abuser will guess where you are, so this may only be a short term solution.
  • If you are a Council tenant we can arrange a joint appointment with the Housing Needs Team and your Neighbourhood Housing Officer to discuss the options available to you.
  • Private renting.
  • Gaining control of your present home - under the Family Law Act 1996.

You can apply to the courts to have you abuser removed from your present home (this is called an Occupation Order). You can also apply for a non-molestation order and an injunction to stop you abuser harassing you or being violent towards you.

Moving out of the area

All councils have a legal duty to offer advice and housing options to homeless people. If you are too frightened to stay in the Welwyn Hatfield Borough you can apply to any other Local Authority.


If you are leaving in a hurry, it is difficult to think of what to take with you, the following list provides useful tips:

  • passports
  • birth certificates
  • marriage certificates
  • proof of child benefit
  • proof of welfare benefits
  • wage slips
  • proof of income
  • medical reports
  • medicines and repeat prescriptions
  • police reports/crime reference numbers
  • address books and daries
  • driving licence
  • EU identity card and home office documentation, if appropriate to your circumstances.