Domestic abuse

Domestic abuse is not acceptable. If you or someone you know is a victim, report it and get help.

Domestic abuse can include, but is not limited to:

  • coercive control
  • psychological abuse
  • physical or sexual abuse
  • financial abuse
  • harassment and stalking
  • online or digital abuse

Domestic abuse also includes honour-based abuse and forced marriage.

It can happen to anyone regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, sexuality or background.

For advice on recognising the signs of domestic abuse you can look at GOV.UK

Where to get help

In an emergency always call 999.

If you are a victim of domestic abuse, you do not have to wait for an emergency situation to seek help. You can:

You can use the domestic violence disclosure scheme also known as Clare’s Law, to ask the police to check if your partner has a violent past.

The Survivor's Handbook from the charity Women's Aid is free, and provides information for women on a wide range of issues, such as housing, money, helping your children, and your legal rights.

Victims of forced marriage can contact The Forced Marriage Unit (020 7008 0151).

Victims of honour crimes can contact Karma Nirvana (0800 5999 247).

Galop provides support to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people experiencing domestic violence.

If you are out in Harlow, you can also look for the J9 logo displayed in buildings. The J9 logo means that building has a ‘safe place’ for people threatened with or experiencing abuse. In the safe place you can confidentially access advice and use a telephone to make calls to support agencies.

You can find more information on the initiative on our J9 page

How we can help you stay in your home

If you are a victim of domestic violence it doesn’t mean that you have to leave your home.

We can provide housing advice to help you stay in your current home through:

  • legal advice
  • the Sanctuary Scheme

We can offer advice on applying for an injunction to either prevent you being harmed by your abuser, or prevent your abuser from living with or near you.

You can find more information on injunctions on GOV.UK

We can also look at using the Sanctuary Scheme to help you feel safer in your home. The scheme provides security upgrades to houses including new doors and locks to create a safe room or ‘sanctuary’.

You do not need to be a council tenant to apply - anyone in fear of homelessness due to domestic abuse is eligible.

You need to be referred to the Sanctuary Scheme through Harlow Council, Essex Police or Safer Places.

How we can help you find alternative accommodation

If you cannot stay in your home and decide to leave, Women's Aid has useful information about making a safety plan that applies to both women and men.

As soon as you can, you should contact our Housing Options team for help and advice about finding somewhere to live.

You can call our Housing Options team on 01279 446655 or visit us at the Civic Centre. If you come in to see us, you can bring a friend or an adviser for support.

You Housing Options officer will help you make a housing application to secure alternative accommodation such as a safe house or temporary accommodation.

We work with Safer Places, an independent domestic abuse charity that provides safe accommodation and support in Essex and Hertfordshire.