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Domestic violence sanctuary scheme

Many people have to leave their home because of domestic violence, the Sanctuary Scheme offers an alternative option for victims or survivors of abuse who wish to remain in their own home.

What is the Sanctuary Scheme?

The Sanctuary Scheme is designed to enable victims of domestic abuse to remain in their own home where it is safe for them to do so and where it is their choice. It is a partnership scheme between the Council and national charity Safe Partnerships (external link).

The scheme involves the installation of security equipment - such as door chains, viewers, window locks and personal safety alarms - to allow the victim to carry on living in their home. In extreme cases a sanctuary room will be built. This involves turning one room in the house into a safe room where the victim can stay until the emergency services arrive (not every house will be suitable for a sanctuary room).

How does it work?

Once you have been accepted onto the scheme, a security installer will visit your home and assess which package - basic, basic plus or full sanctuary - is most suitable for you, and the necessary security measures will be fitted the same day. You will also be offered support from the West Lancashire Women's Refuge throughout the process.

Who can apply?

To be eligible to apply to the scheme, you must be:

  • Eligible for assistance (i.e. have access to public funds)
  • A victim or survivor of domestic abuse
  • Want to remain in your home
  • Live within the West Lancashire area
  • Have rights to occupy the property
  • Be at risk of homelessness if the sanctuary is not provided

The scheme is open to owner-occupiers, private tenants, West Lancashire Borough Council tenants and housing association tenants. You can also be considered if you permanently live with family.

If you do not own the accommodation, permission will need to be sought from the owner before any work can be carried out. Safe Partnerships will contact the owner for you and ask for permission.

The scheme is not available where the perpetrator of the violence lives at the address.

How long will I wait for a security installer to visit?

In urgent cases, Safe Partnerships will contact you and arrange to visit within 24 hours. In all other cases, contact and a visit will be arranged within 48 hours.

Is there a cost?

No, the scheme is free.

How do I apply?

A Sanctuary Scheme application form must be completed. This can be done by the applicant or by any agency or voluntary sector service that the person may be receiving support from.

Your West Lancashire

Information for where you live


Homelessness team

Housing enquiry form 


01695 585223 or 01695 585222 (0845 371 0898 for out of office hours emergencies*)

*The out of hours emergency number must only be used if you find yourself unexpectedly homeless outside of office hours and you are unable to make alternative arrangements. It is not to be used for general advice or enquiries about housing applications.