The housing and homelessness charity

Shelter Scotland / England

Domestic abuse

This section explains how to tackle the housing and homelessness issues connected to domestic abuse: how to find yourself somewhere new to live if you need to leave your home, what to do if you become homeless as a result of domestic abuse and how to exclude the abusive partner from your home. It also contains links to organisations that can help you.

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England
This content applies to Scotland only
Get advice if you're in England

  • What is domestic abuse?

    Domestic abuse is when someone close to you behaves in a way that inflicts physical, mental or emotional damage. There is more to domestic abuse than physical violence.

  • Leaving domestic abuse

    Domestic abuse leaves people feeling vulnerable. Many feel unable to escape because of financial concerns, and believe they have nowhere safe to go. But there are options - find out more.

  • Refuges for women

    If you leave home due to domestic abuse or threats, you may stay at a refuge. If you just need time away to think about your options a refuge might help.

  • Financial issues

    Many women are reluctant to leave their partners because they don't have the financial resources to support themselves on their own. However, there are ways you can get help.

  • Making your partner leave

    You may be able to make your partner leave your home. This will depend on your housing rights. Remember, if you are in danger, you can always call the police on 999.

  • Taking legal action

    There are different ways you can take legal action against your partner. Rather than leaving your home, you may choose to apply to keep your partner away from your home, or go to the police.

  • Domestic abuse and homelessness

    If you become homeless from domestic abuse, you can get help from a local council, or from another council. You don't have to be roofless to be homeless - you may be staying with friends.

  • Men experiencing domestic abuse

    Men can also experience domestic abuse from their partners. The statutory and legal remedies open to women wishing to escape an abusive relationship apply equally to men.

  • Where to get help

    This page contains information on and links to organisations that can help women and men undergoing violence or abuse at home.

Speak to a Shelter Scotland adviser

Call Shelter Scotland's free housing advice helpline

0808 800 4444
9am-5pm, Monday to Friday

Email an adviser

You can also email a housing adviser. We aim to respond within three working days.

Fill out my online form.