Domestic abuse

What is domestic violence and abuse?

Domestic violence or abuse is a pattern of abusing and controlling behaviour which often escalates over time.  It is more common than people think.  Domestic violence and abuse can include:

  • physical assault
  • sexual abuse and rape
  • psychological abuse
  • emotional and financial abuse
  • threats, harassment and intimidation

It can happen between partners and within families. Any form of form of domestic violence or abuse is unacceptable and a criminal offence.

What you can do to get help and support
Leaving an abusive relationship may be a hard thing to do and many people find it hard to accept that they are a victim of domestic abuse or violence.   Help is available, whatever you decide to do, and we will do what we can to help you.  There are several places you can turn to for help:

National Domestic Violence helpline:      0808 200 0247
National Centre for Domestic Abuse:       0800 970 2070
Women’s Aid national helpline:                0845 702 3468
Refuge national helpline:                          0990 995443 10
Male Advice and Enquiry line:                  0845 066800
Victim Support:                                         0845 3030900

All these agencies will prioritise your safety and confidentiality.   They will help you to explore your options and think about the decisions you want to make.

Always dial 999 in an emergency

The police have a duty to protect and help you if your partner or ex-partner is harassing, hurting or threatening you or your children,.  They now have procedures about how to respond to domestic violence and should offer you information about local women’s refuges and offer practical help.   All police forces should have specially trained experienced domestic violence offers who will also contact you, keep you informed of what’s happening, follow up the investigation and tell you about other sources of help and support locally.

What we can do
You can tell your Housing Officer or any member of Keniston staff about what is happening. We will treat you sensitively and sympathetically and put your safety and privacy first.  You can talk to us at home or anywhere else that is convenient and comfortable for you.  Everything you tell us will be confidential. We will refer you to other organisations for more support and see where we can improve the security of you home if you do not wish to leave.  We can refer you to the council for temporary accommodation if you do want to leave your home, or offer you a transfer to one of our properties in another borough if you cannot remain in your home.

Your legal rights
You can apply for any of the following

  • Occupation order
  • Non-molestation order
  • Restraining order
  • Domestic violence protection notice and order

Please ask your Housing Officer for more information on these legal remedies.  Any of the agencies listed above can advise you of solicitors with experience in family law to help you apply for one of these.