If you’re scared or in immediate danger dial 999 and ask for the police – they can help
Ways to help yourself
Things you can do
Living with domestic violence can often feel hopeless but there are things you can do to help you gain the confidence to make the changes you want to happen.
CALL WOMEN’S AID
If you’re looking for somewhere safe to stay call 0330 102 5811
If you live in Welwyn Hatfield you can call the Women’s Helpline for information, support and advice on 01707 373743. We can give you information about housing, benefits, legal matters and all your options. We can also support you through your difficulties.
SPEAK TO THE POLICE
If you want to know what would happen if you called the police in an emergency or if you want to speak to them about the criminal aspect of what is happening to you, you can call your local police station and ask to speak to the Domestic Abuse Investigation and Safeguarding Unit. Don’t dial 999 to do this though, dial 101 – and remember; you don’t have to report anything if you don’t want to.
SPEAK TO YOUR DOCTOR
Speak to your Doctor, Midwife, Health Visitor or the staff at A&E. If you have injuries as a result of your partner’s abuse try to tell the medical staff what happened. They should record it and they may offer you phone numbers to call for help and support.
Having your injuries recorded can often be helpful in the future. They won’t say anything if you don’t want them to, they’ll just write it down.
If you’re able to talk to your GP it can be helpful for them to record what is happening to you at home regardless of whether or not you have injuries.
SPEAK TO YOUR LOCAL AUTHORITY HOUSING OPTIONS DEPARTMENT
The current Housing Act says that no-one has to live in fear of violence at home. This includes violence from parents, children, other family members, racial harassment and homophobia. Whether you’re a tenant, an owner occupier or living with family or friends, if you’re scared at home you can speak to a Local Authority Housing Advisor who should be able to find you somewhere safe to stay and tell you what your housing options are. Not all of them do though so if they advise you to “get an injunction and go back” or tell you they can’t help you call our helpline if you live in Welwyn Hatfield or the Women’s Aid Federation England / National Helpline or contact Shelter for advice.
If you are a joint or sole tenant DO NOT give up your tenancy if you leave home. You can claim Housing Benefit on two homes if you’re escaping domestic violence and giving up your tenancy may affect your future housing.
SEE A SOLICITOR
Some solicitors have a Legal Assistance Franchise and can offer you some time for free to go through your legal options. If you live in Welwyn Hatfield we can help you with this. If not, contact your local Women’s Aid group or Citizen’s Advice Bureau for advice.
Visit or call your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau or Shelter office. They should have the phone number of your local Women’s Aid group and they should also be able to give you some information about your rights.