Guide

Domestic abuse: support

Last updated: 8 September 2017

Ending the relationship

If you or your children are in immediate danger, call 999.

If you want to end your relationship with an abusive partner you should plan for:

  • your safety
  • where you will stay (if you decide to leave your home)
  • money

Make a safety plan

Call Scotland's Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline on 0800 027 1234 – they can help you make a safety plan and give you advice on children, money and housing. There are other support organisations (for men and women) that can help you too.

Even if you're not sure about separating from your partner yet, speaking to a support organisation can be a good way to find out your options.

Decide where you'll stay

If you decide to leave home, try to find somewhere to stay before you go. This could be:

  • with friends or family (if you think you'll be safe from your partner here)
  • in a refuge
  • in temporary accommodation provided by the council

Call Scotland's Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline on 0800 027 1234 or Shelter Scotland's housing helpline on 0808 800 4444 for advice on finding a safe place to stay.

You may be able to make your partner leave your home. This depends on what rights you have to live in your home. Find out more about staying in your home after a separation.

Homeless help in an emergency

If you don't have anywhere permanent to stay (for example if you're sleeping on the streets, with friends or family for a short time or living in a hostel, refuge or hotel) you can make a homeless application to your local council's housing department.

If you're worried about money

If your financial situation changes after you leave your partner, you may be worried about how you'll support yourself or your children on your own.

Help with money is available, for example you might be able to claim benefits because you're now a single person or a crisis grant if you need emergency financial help.

You can also apply for child maintenance from your partner if you have children.

If you want to prevent your partner coming near your home or behaving in an abusive way towards you, you can take out an interdict against them. This is a court order that bans them from doing certain things.

Find out more about taking legal action on the Shelter Scotland website.

Permanently separating from your partner

You may want a divorce or to dissolve your civil partnership if you want your relationship to end permanently.

If you need legal advice from a solicitor but can't afford the fees, you may be able to get legal aid.

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Domestic abuse: support
Ending the relationship