Housing options for those in domestic violence situations

Domestic violence housing options

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If you are experiencing domestic violence you may want to consider one of the following options:

Going to a women's refuge

A refuge is a safe house for women and children escaping from domestic violence. Help will be available on welfare rights, legal issues, accommodation options and more. Some Women's Aid organisations also have their own temporary accommodation. This offers more independent living. You may move on to this from a refuge whilst you are waiting for permanent housing. You can refer yourself to a refuge by calling the Domestic Violence Helpline which is at the bottom of this page. You can also ask your housing officer or other agencies to refer you.

The Sanctuary Project

The Sanctuary Project assists repeat victims of domestic violence and hate crime to feel safe and remain in their homes, without having to make themselves voluntarily homeless. The main feature of the project is the creation of a 'sanctuary room', which consists of having an internal door replaced with a solid core door, reversing it to open outwards, so that the door jamb acts as an additional barrier. This provides a safe room or 'sanctuary' for victims to call from and await the arrival of the police. For more information please download the Sanctuary Project leaflet.

The 'Sanctuary Project' is not seen as an immediate response, but a long-term solution to improving the client's quality of life. To be assessed for the Sanctuary Project, contact the Housing Assessment Team.

Staying with family or friends

This may be a safe option for you and give you some support. But your abuser may guess where you are. This may cause problems and for many people this is only a short-term solution. If you live in social housing and you decide to stay with family or friends, you must inform your housing officer as soon as possible.

For more information about the support available see our domestic violence advice leaflet.

Domestic Abuse policy

The Domestic Abuse policy outlines the service that Harrow’s housing department can offer to domestic abuse survivors. Harrow’s Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) strategy group is responsible for the overall strategic direction of the council in relation to domestic abuse, and the actions that relate to this. This policy is written to complement the VAWG’s strategic approach and will be specific to the Housing Service. The policy is currently being updated and will be available soon.

Domestic violence hotline

24 hour helpline: 0808 200 0247

Telephone: 020 8736 6281

Housing assessment team

Address: Harrow Council
Housing Assessment Team
PO Box 1358

Telephone: 020 8424 1093