Communities and Justice

I want to leave but need a place to stay

Not knowing you have a safe place to go can make it hard to leave a violent relationship. You may be feeling afraid, anxious, angry and unsure because your partner is being abusive and threatening.

Remember: You have a right to be safe. It is against the law to hurt or abuse someone else.

If you and your children need to find a safe place, short-term and long-term housing options are available for victims of domestic and family violence in NSW.

Staying at a women’s refuge or shelter, which is a safe place, can give you the time you need to think about what you want to do next.

Who you can call

For emergency accommodation

You and your children can stay at a women's refuge or shelter. They are usually a group of secure units or rooms that offer:

  • safe, secure housing for anywhere from two days to a few months
  • help in moving you and your belongings to the shelter
  • facilities for cooking and washing
  • bedding and linen

To find out if beds are available in your local area, call the Domestic Violence Line. It's open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A trained female staff member will help you find a safe place and refer you to local support services such as health or legal services.

You can also call Link2home. It’s also open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can ask for information or a referral to Specialist Homelessness Services that support women and children escaping domestic violence.

1800 152 152

For longer-term accommodation

Rent Choice Start Safely

For help with longer-term accommodation, you can apply for Rent Choice Start Safely, which provides financial help towards rent to help you secure housing after leaving a violent situation. You need to be eligible for social housing to be eligible for Rent Choice Start Safely.

To find out more about Rent Choice Start Safely and social housing, call 1800 422 322 or find your local Housing NSW office.

Social housing

If you need longer-term housing support, you can find information about applying for social housing and the statewide housing register through the Housing Pathways or Housing Contact Centre on 1800 422 322.

The Housing Contact Centre also has an Aboriginal Enquiry Line 1800 422 322. An Aboriginal staff member is available Monday to Friday and can help you with your housing and rental issues. If an Aboriginal staff member is not there when you ring, leave a message and they will call you back as soon as they can.

Other services you can use

Financial help — look under 'Financial help' in the Domestic violence services and support contact list

These useful tools can help you find a broad range of other services you may need:

  • Infoxchange Service Seeker searches for services available in NSW.
  • Ask Izzy is a website and app about where to get help for shelter, food, health and other critical services.
Last updated:

08 May 2023