IDAS is the largest specialist charity in Yorkshire supporting anyone experiencing or affected by domestic abuse or sexual violence. Their services include refuge accommodation, community based support, peer mentoring, group work and access to a free, confidential out of hours’ helpline. They also have a team of accredited specialist workers (IDVA’s and ISVAs) to support people through the criminal justice system in additional to providing emotional support and safety planning advice. For detailed advice about the help that IDAS can provide visit their website.
Local helpline - 03000 110 110
24 hour helpline - 0808 2000247
You do not have to leave your home or go into a refuge to get help from IDAS. They can offer advice on all of your options including staying in your home and will help you create a safety plan to protect yourself.
Staying in your home
You don’t have to lose your home if you have experienced domestic violence. You have done nothing wrong and you may want to stay close to friends, family, a local job, or local services. You’ll probably also want to minimise upheaval if you have children. Think carefully when making any decisions and always put safety first.
You need to get specialist advice as soon as possible as any rights you have to stay in your accommodation will depend on if you are a joint or sole owner or tenant, and what your relationship status is. In some circumstances you may be able to apply for an occupation order to give you rights to live in the home and/or exclude your partner. As well as occupation orders there are various other court orders and injunctions that you can apply for to increase your safety. The most common of these are non-molestation orders. These ban your partner from assaulting, harassing, or threatening you.
You can get advice from IDAS or consult a solicitor about this.
When your partner has left, you may want to improve security in your home. This could include:
- Fitting reinforced doors and/or window bars
- Getting an alarm installed
- Having a ‘safe room’ where you can take refuge if your attacker gets in – ideally this room should have a phone in it, and an exit.
IDAS can offer advice on this and assist with some of this work.
Refuges or other temporary accommodation
If you don’t feel safe in your home and have nowhere safe to go to, you should contact IDAS or the police to see if they can find you a space in a refuge. Refuges provide temporary housing for people fleeing domestic violence. You won’t have to have left your partner permanently and you don’t have to have children.
Some refuges are shared houses, while others offer self-contained apartments. You will usually have your own room, but if you have children you may have to share the room with them. You will have to pay rent but may be entitled to housing benefit. Refuge staff can give you advice about claiming benefits and finding a more permanent place to live.
Refuge places are limited, and you may have to go to another area of the country. There is no refuge in the Craven District.
If you are not able to go into a refuge, or do not wish to do so, the Council may be able to offer you temporary accommodation.
Applying as homeless
You can contact the Housing Options team directly on 01756 706475, or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Your support worker or someone else can do this on your behalf.
You will need to attend a face to face interview, and give us some information about your situation and this can be with a member of the same sex if you feel more comfortable with that. Someone can come to the interview with you for support.
We will help you find somewhere safe to stay on a temporary basis and work with you on longer term options. This might involve making arrangements for rehousing or returning home with additional security measures in place.
Alternative Housing Options
Apply for social housing
Complete a housing application for social housing via North Yorkshire Home Choice. Paper applications are also available if online completion is not an option.
You will need to have a local connection to join the register and other restrictions may apply. You can check if you qualify by reading the policy on the website.
The main advantage of private rented accommodation is that you will have a greater degree of choice in terms of location and type of property and can usually move very quickly.
You may also wish to start looking at suitable private renting options on websites such as ‘Right Move’ or ‘Spare Room.’
The Housing Options team may be able to help with a bond and rent in advance.
Help with Housing costs
Many people are reluctant to leave a violent relationship because they are worried that they won’t be able to support themselves financially. However, you may be able to apply for help with your housing costs and living expenses, such as:
- Benefits or tax credits
- A crisis loan to help you meet emergency expenses
- Maintenance payments from your ex-partner if you have children
You may be able to claim housing benefit for two homes if you have to move out temporarily because of violence or threats. This can last for up to a year.
If you are receiving a state benefit or on a low income you can apply for help towards your rent. In Craven this will be through Universal Credit for working age people unless you live in supported housing.
If you are looking to rent a private rented property, the maximum amount of help you can get is set by the Local Housing Allowance (LHA). If you are under 35, you will only be able to get rent to cover you for a room in a shared house. Please see LHA rate on Craven Council’s website www.cravendc.gov.uk/benefits-andadvice/local-housing-allowance
Help available from other agencies:
National Domestic Helpline 0808 2000247
You might be able to get safe housing and support in a women’s refuge. www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk
Making Safe (Foundation) 07525 910778
The primary aim of ‘Making Safe’ is to keep victims of domestic abuse and their family safe within their own home. To work with perpetrators to address their behaviours which have led to domestic abuse. The scheme aims to reduce risks to those involved in domestic incidents and reduce the opportunity for a repeat incident to occur. The scheme can provide support for those arrested/ charged with offences involving domestic abuse who consent to be involved
www.yor-ok.org.uk/services Available Monday to Friday 9am-5pm
For homeless information across a range of topics and for legal housing advice, please visit Shelter’s website: