Housing and welfare support

Housing and welfare support

Staying in your own home.


You have rights to stay in your own home and make an abusive partner leave. You may have to go to court to have your partner removed and to make him stay away.  If you have occupancy rights, you can ask a lawyer to apply to the court for an exclusion order under the Matrimonial Homes (Family Protection) (Scotland) Act 1981. This is a court order that suspends the right of a married person, civil partner, or cohabitee to live in the family home. You can apply for an exclusion order if your spouse or partner has harmed you, or is threatening to harm you or your children.

You can apply for an exclusion order even if you had to leave your home because of the abuse and are currently living elsewhere, but you will need to apply within two years of leaving.

You will need a solicitor if you go to court to have your partner removed from your home.
Download more information on staying in your own home and exclusion orders.
 

Temporary and permanent housing

If you have to leave your home because of domestic abuse, you have a right to temporary and permanent housing provided by the local council. It is possible to transfer to another council area for safety reasons. Housing law is complicated so you may find it helpful speak to an adviser from your local Women’s Aid group or a Citizen’s Advice Bureau.

If you need to leave your home because of domestic abuse, you are considered as being in ‘priority need’ for housing and should be assessed as ‘homeless’. You are homeless, even if you have accommodation, if you cannot get into it or there is a threat from a partner or ex-partner if you continue to live there.

You need to apply to your local council (housing department). Women’s Aid can help you do this.
The council will make enquiries about your application and must give you a safe place to stay while doing so. If it is an emergency, the council has a duty to provide emergency accommodation. Women’s Aid groups also operate a network of safe refuges. If you do not agree with a council’s decision you can appeal. Contact your local Women’s Aid group for more information
 

Welfare support

 

If you leave an abusive partner you may be able to claim certain welfare benefits to support yourself and any children. The system is complicated so you are best to speak to an adviser from Women’s Aid, your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau or rights office.
If you are not a UK/EEC citizen you may not be able to claim these benefits. You can get more information on this from Women’s Aid, your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau or rights office.
 

 


Nearest SWA Group

Find your nearest Women's Aid group

Staying Safe

If you need immediate help contact Women's Aid, the police domestic abuse liaison officer or your local social work office.

You can also phone Scotland's domestic abuse and forced marriage helpline on 0800 027 1234

 

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