If you are in fear of a partner, an ex-partner or member of your family, you might be experiencing domestic abuse.
Domestic abuse includes:
- calling you names and making you feel bad about yourself
- making you afraid by threatening you or your children
- being violent towards you
- stopping you seeing your friends or family
- keeping you without money
- harming you or making you feel you could be seriously harmed
If it's an emergency and your personal safety is threatened, call the police on 999.
If you need the police but it's not an emergency, call 101.
Help to stay in your home
If you are experiencing domestic abuse but you want to stay in your home, you can get legal advice about obtaining an injunction. An injunction is a court order that either:
- protects you and your child from being harmed or threatened by the person who’s abused you – this is called a 'non-molestation order'
- decides who can live in the family home or enter the surrounding area – this is called an 'occupation order', which
You can obtain an occupation order even if you are not an owner or tenant of the property.
If your income is low, you could get help with your legal costs. The National Centre for Domestic Violence has a free emergency injunction service for survivors of domestic violence.
If you're frightened the person abusing you will break the terms of the injunction despite the risk of being arrested, a ‘Sanctuary Scheme' could help you by installing extra security measures at your address. Call 101 and ask to speak to the Domestic Abuse and Safeguarding Officer.
Moving to a safe place
If you've decided to leave home, make sure you plan your departure safely. Take essential items such as a change of clothes, toiletries and any medication you need to take regularly. Try to bring other important items like your passport, bank and credit cards, and your mobile phone.
If you can't stay with friends or relatives or anywhere else safely, there are specialist refuges all over the UK. Refuges are not just emergency accommodation – you will be supported to rebuild your life. Helplines can help you access services across the country and find a space in a refuge.
If you would like to enter a refuge in Thurrock or elsewhere across the country, you must first contact Essex Compass. They will be able to give you advice and take your details so a decision can be made about appropriate support for you.
Do not give up your home permanently until you have obtained advice about your rights from a solicitor, our housing service, Citizens Advice or another advice agency.
Applying for housing as a homeless person
You can apply to us for housing as a homeless person. If you are eligible and can show you have nowhere to stay safely or return to, we will work with you to help you find somewhere else to live.
If you have a priority need – for example, you have children or are pregnant – we will find you immediate temporary accommodation in a safe area.
We will work with you to agree a Personal Housing Plan, which will include steps that you and the council will take to find you housing in a safe place. This work will continue for 56 days (8 weeks) or until you've secured a new home.