Emergency accommodation

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If you are experiencing domestic abuse, it may be unsafe for you to remain in your home as it is, or you may need somewhere safe to stay while you get assistance to rehouse, or return to your home when it is made safe.

To plan your exit safely, you can contact your local domestic abuse provider, Hestia, on 0203 879 3544 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) to speak to an Independent Domestic Abuse Advisor.

You can also contact the 24/7 National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.

If you need to leave your home, you may want to consider taking the following items with you. Only do this if you are sure it is safe to do so.

  • Identification and important paperwork (passports, benefit letters, court order, marriage/birth certificates)
  • Money - cash or a card only you have access to
  • Clothes for a few days
  • Medicines and toiletries
  • Children's clothes and favourite toys
  • Any evidence you have of domestic abuse (diaries, laptops with evidence on, photos, notes, crime reference numbers)

If you need to leave your home, you may want to consider:

  • Staying temporarily with relatives or friends
  • Finding a women's refuge. Refuges are safe houses where women and children can stay safe from violence
    • Call the National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247, or
    • Hesta on 08081 699 975 (Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm)
  • Making a homelessness application - victims of domestic abuse who are eligible for housing support are considered in priority need of housing

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Homelessness application

You can approach any local authority for an assessment if you are at risk of homelessness due to violence. It is worth considering if it is safe to apply to your home borough, and any support networks you may have in other areas.

If you are eligible for housing support and are unable to remain in your home due to domestic abuse, you are considered in priority need and the local authority must secure you interim accommodation if this is what you want. This accommodation may not be in the borough you have applied to.

You do not need to have already left your accommodation to be considered homeless. The law says that if continuing to stay at your accommodation will lead to further risk of domestic abuse, then you are considered homeless.

For further advice or to make a homelessness application, contact our Homelessness Prevention Team by email housingadvice@wandsworth.gov.uk.

Stay put stay safe

The Stay Put Stay Safe scheme is for people affected by domestic violence and victims of hate crime. If you are being threatened or physically harmed by someone who does not live with you, you do not need to leave your home. We may be able to make it a safer place to live by improving the security of your home. We may use a range of measures such as new locks, heavy-duty doors, additional window security and safe rooms.

The scheme is open to all Wandsworth residents, although if you have a private landlord or a Housing Association landlord we would need their written consent to fit any additional security.

To apply contact the Landlord and Property Letting line on 020 8871 7333. You can be referred by a support agency, such as the police, victim support, a social worker or estate manager.

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