Domestic abuse & housing

The Home Office describes domestic abuse as "any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality".

Help from the police

The police can provide practical help and advice, and there are officers who deal specifically with cases of domestic violence. They are trained to assist and will consider your safety and wellbeing as their first priority. If you wish, you can meet personally with a member of the domestic violence team. The time and place of the meeting can be arranged to suit you.

West Oxfordshire Domestic Violence outreach worker

Provides emotional support and practical information for men and women affected by domestic abuse. The helpline number can help with enquiries that you may have and provide access to support services. 

The outreach worker can be contacted on 0800 731 0055.

For more information on the local help and support available please visit: Reducing the risk website

In an emergency, always dial 999.

Help from the Housing team

If you need help and advice please contact Housing Services on 01993 861000.

Each case is different. We will offer you an appointment with a housing advisor to talk privately about your situation. You are welcome to bring a friend or support worker along with you. All information will be treated in confidence. 

The advice and assistance that we offer will depend on your wishes, and whether you wish to leave your current home or discuss what options are available. Information may include the following:

  • Your rights of occupation
  • Injunctions available
  • Assistance with referral to Thames Valley Domestic Violence unit for further advice and support
  • Referral to a support worker at Oxfordshire Women's Aid
  • Referral to West Oxfordshire Domestic Violence outreach worker
  • Access to alternative accommodation

What if I am homeless?

If you are homeless, we will offer you an appointment with a Housing advisor to talk about your situation in private. They will:

  • Help you to complete a homeless application
  • Arrange a place of safety, this may be a refuge, but may also be emergency accommodation
  • Advise you of your legal rights
  • Let you know what help the Council can offer by nominating you for rehousing by a Housing Association

Making an appointment

If you are homeless, threatened with homelessness, or just want advice, you should contact:                      

Refuges

Women's refuges

A refuge is a safe house where women who are experiencing domestic abuse can live free from violence. If you have children, you can take them with you. Some refuges are small houses. You can choose to travel as far from, or stay as near to, your present home as you want. Some refuges are specifically for women from particular ethnic and cultural backgrounds - for example, Black, Asian or South American - and many refuges have disabled access and workers who can assist women who have special needs.

Men's refuges

There is no emergency refuge provision in Oxfordshire but we can put you in contact with hostels that may be able to provide accommodation. We may also be able to secure temporary accommodation on your behalf.

Children

It is emotionally damaging for children to live in a home where there is domestic abuse. People experiencing domestic abuse often worry what will happen to their children if they disclose it to someone. You will be supported to ensure that they are protected from the effects. There is help for you and your children to be safe and reduce the risk.

Sources of support for domestic abuse

ServiceTelephone number
 Emergency temporary housing  01993 861 000 (office hours)
 0151 34 32 945 (out of hours)
 Reducing the risk  
 Oxfordshire domestic abuse helpline  0800 731 0055
 Thames Valley Police Domestic violence unit  101
 Childline  0800 1111
 Broken Rainbow  0300 999 5428
 Kiran Asian women's aid  0208 558 1986
 Men's advice line  0808 801 0327
 Elder abuse  0808 808 8141
 Samaritans  01865 721 122 / 08457 909 090
 Women's aid national domestic violence helpline  0808 2000 247 
 Victim support  0845 3030 900
 0845 3999 528 (south east region)
 Citizens advice bureau  0844 111 444
 Shelter  0808 800 4444

Staying safe online

If you do not want anyone to know that you have visited this page or any other domestic violence websites, please follow the steps below to clear the computer's history:

Internet Explorer

  • Click the Tools menu and select Internet Options
  • On General page, under Browsing history, click Delete
  • Tick the box next to Delete browsing history on exit and click Apply.

Google Chrome

  • Click the Chrome menu on the browser toolbar
  • Select Tools
  • Select Clear browsing data
  • In the box that appears, click the boxes for the types of information that you want to remove
  • Use the menu at the top to select the amount of data that you want to delete. Select beginning of time to delete everything
  • Click Clear browsing data.

Firefox

  • At the top of the Firefox window, click on the Firefox button and then select Options
  • Select the Advanced panel
  • Click on the Network tab
  • In the Cached Web Content section, click Clear Now.

West Oxfordshire District Council
Elmfield
New Yatt Road
Witney
OX28 1PB