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I am fleeing domestic abuse

Domestic abuse can be any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between adults who are, or have been, intimate partners, family members or members of the same household, regardless of gender or sexuality. Domestic abuse is not limited to violent abuse; it can be physical, psychological, sexual, emotional or financial.

Domestic violence is a crime – do not hesitate to contact the police and report any incidents. In an emergency call 999.

A more detailed version of the advice contained on this webpage is available for download.


What help can I get? 

Many organisations and agencies provide help, support and can advise you about your options. These include staying at home or leaving your home if you feel this is right for you. You are not alone in this situation. Remember that your safety comes first above all else. The following information will give you an overview of your options and give you contact details for organisations that can help you.


Staying in your home 

It is not always necessary for you to leave your home if you are suffering from domestic abuse. There are various ways to remain safely in your current property.  

Getting an injunction

An injunction is a court order that prohibits an abuser from using threatening violence against you, harassing, pestering or intimidating you or contacting you completely. If the abuser breaches this order, the police will arrest the abuser immediately. The Council can refer you (you can also self refer) to support agencies such as East Surrey Domestic Abuse Service (ESDAS) or National Women’s Aid. They can help you take legal action by obtaining injunctions to protect yourself in your property such as applying for an Occupation Order or a Non-Molestation Order.

The Sanctuary Scheme: This scheme enables you to stay in your home by creating a ‘safe room’ in the property. Other measures are also available such as safety repairs (fences, outdoor lights etc.). For further information on this scheme contact ESDAS, see below for contact details.


Leaving your home

Many people who suffer from domestic abuse do not feel safe in their home, their local area or surrounding areas. If you feel that you cannot remain in your home because it is unsafe, it is important that you leave and seek accommodation at a refuge.

Refuges are safe houses for those fleeing domestic abuse. They will give a vast range of advice and support to meet your particular needs through this difficult time. The location is strictly confidential and the perpetrator will not know where you are placed. It is vital that you are placed in an area of safety and this means that it is highly likely that you will be placed far from your original area.

You do not have to approach the Council to be placed in a refuge, you can contact the 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline directly on 0808 2000 247 (Freephone) and seek a place of refuge.

If you are fleeing domestic abuse, the Law allows you to approach any Council for assistance and the Council will have a duty to investigate your situation. However, ensure you approach a Council that is far from the area you are at risk from.


Further Advice 

East Surrey Domestic Abuse Service

Tel:01737 771350


Citizen's Advice Bureau Tel: 03444 111 444
National Domestic Violence Helpline

Tel: 0808 2000 247