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Advising survivors of domestic abuse: resources round up

Posted on 05/10/21 in Housing Matters

Advising survivors of domestic abuse: resources round up

Resources on housing and homelessness law for professionals working with survivors of domestic abuse.

The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 introduced a new definition of domestic abuse and brought in a number of changes to improve housing and homelessness support for survivors.

The following resources are for anyone working with people who have experienced domestic abuse, including:

  • housing advisers
  • local authority staff
  • domestic violence support workers
  • people working for other public bodies such as probation services or the NHS

Resources for professionals

Shelter Legal

Shelter Legal is an online guide to housing law for professionals. It covers topics such as homeless applications, tenancy issues, benefits, and eviction.

Housing rights of domestic abuse survivors provides an overview of options available to people experiencing domestic abuse. It covers homelessness applications, benefits when someone temporarily leaves the home, options for people with no recourse to public funds, and support to stay in the home, including sanctuary schemes and occupation orders. 

Leaving the home after domestic abuse covers getting a place in a refuge, applying as homeless, transfers and possession proceedings.

Court orders to remove the perpetrator and prevent abuse provides an overview of legal remedies, including non-molestation orders, occupation orders and injunctions. 

Homelessness due to violence or domestic abuse sets out when a person is legally homeless as a result of domestic abuse or other forms of violence.

Priority need due to domestic abuse explains when a person has a priority need as a result of experiencing domestic abuse, how local authorities should carry out enquiries and when interim accommodation must be provided. 

Homeless application process provides an overview of the process of making a homeless application to a local authority.

Housing Matters

Housing Matters articles are written by practitioners and include commentary, practical advice, case law updates and discussion of key legal issues. 

Homeless due to domestic abuse explains the changes to priority need brought in by the Domestic Abuse Act, the decisions affected, and how local authorities should deal with applications by survivors.  

Focus on: Domestic Abuse Act 2021 and accommodation based support for survivors sets out the new general duty on English local authorities to plan and provide accommodation-based support for survivors of domestic abuse and their children in refuges and other safe accommodation.

Resources for survivors of domestic abuse

Shelter Housing Advice 

Shelter's housing advice pages for the public have information on homelessness, renting, benefits, repairs and eviction.

The advice is clear, accurate and easy to understand. Pages can be printed and shared by email.

Help if you’re homeless: domestic abuse gives an overview of housing options for people experiencing domestic abuse.

Women's refuges provides information on how to get a place in a refuge and what they are like. 

NHAS factsheets for the public

Our easy to read factsheets for the public can be printed and shared. 

They include:

  • Domestic abuse: Refuges
  • Domestic abuse: Housing options

You can find these and more on our factsheets page.

Organisations that support survivors of domestic abuse

National Domestic Abuse Helpline

0808 2000 247

For women

Men's Advice Line for male victims of domestic abuse

0808 801 0327

For men

National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline

0800 999 5428

For LGBT+ people

Karma Nirvana

0800 5999 247

For victims of honour based abuse or forced marriage

London Victim and Witness Service

0808 168 9291

London only

Rights of Women

020 7251 6577

Free legal advice for women including family law and immigration advice

Annexe A of the statutory guidance provides a more detailed list of organisations that support survivors. 

Legislation and Guidance

Key legislation 

Domestic Abuse Act 2021

Includes the new definition of domestic abuse, as well as amendments relating to homelessness, allocations and housing related benefits. 

Housing Act 1996

Part 7 sets out local authority duties to prevent homelessness and provide assistance to people threatened with or actually homeless.

The Homelessness (Priority Need for Accommodation) (England) Order 2002

Sets out additional categories of people who have a priority need, including those homeless due to domestic abuse and other forms of violence. 

Statutory guidance

Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities

Chapter 21 sets out guidance on providing homelessness services to people who have experienced or are at risk of domestic violence or abuse.

Delivery of support to victims of domestic abuse in domestic abuse safe accommodation services

Statutory guidance for local authorities on their functions under Part 4 of the Domestic Abuse Act

Domestic abuse statutory guidance framework

Statutory guidance aimed at statutory and non-statutory bodies working with victims, perpetrators and commissioning services, as well as organisations that support victims.

Help available from the Department for Work and Pensions for people who are victims of domestic violence and abuse

This guide provides up-to-date information for victims of domestic abuse and their advisers about the services and support available from DWP.