Finding emergency accommodation

If you’re not safe at home and don’t know where to go, there are solutions. It is vital that you do not remain in a dangerous situation for you and your children. Your safety is the top priority.

Verified by Ouarda Varda Sadoudi on 29/11/2023

If you are faced with domestic abuse and live with the perpetrator of the abuse, one of the first solutions you can consider is to ask the judge to evict them from the home as part of a protective measure known as a protection order, or “ordonnance de protection”.

You could obtain their eviction within a maximum of one week, even if the accommodation is in their name.

Pending the judge’s decision, or if you have not requested an “ordonnance de protection”, emergency solutions are available for you and your children.


Leaving the comfort of your home can be very stressful, but you are not safe in the presence of an abusive person.

Even if you find them difficult, these solutions can be very useful in the short term. This is the first step to getting you safe and, in the long run, to regaining your independence.

Due to French administrative complexities, it is recommended that you try to stay in the department where you currently reside so you are eligible for housing financial assistance in the mid-term. Only if you feel safe to do so. 

  • This may seem embarrassing, but a trusted person close to you may be willing to host you in an emergency.

    More and more people are becoming aware of the problem of domestic abuse, know it can happen to anyone, and are prepared to help those facing it.

  • If you have enough money, you could also consider going to a hotel for a few days.

    These search portals are multilingual and offer a wide range of accommodation available immediately in France:

    • Booking for a hotel room or apartment.
    • Airbnb for short term rental, sometimes longer.
  • Police services have access to accommodation for people who experience domestic violence in emergency situations.

    They should be able to find you a place in an accommodation centre the same day. Some of these centres are especially designated for women.

    To request this service, you can go to any police station near you, i.e. a “commissariat de police” or “brigade de gendarmerie”.

    When you get there:

    • If you don’t speak French, you can present them this letter.
    • Explain that you are not safe at home. You will have to answer questions about the abuse you have experienced.
    • You will not be required to file a complaint to obtain emergency accommodation.
    • You could also ask them to come with you to pick up your belongings. This will take more or less time depending on the emergencies they have to handle.
  • Samu social” is the body that manages telephone number 115, the national advice and support number for people in a situation of homelessness.

    They will do their utmost to offer you emergency accommodation, such as a hotel or shelter for the night, as far away as possible from the perpetrator of the abuse.

    Unfortunately, this is not always the most efficient solution. Sometimes you have to wait a long time on the phone to get an answer, and they will not be able to help you get to the accommodation.

    It is therefore advisable to contact the police as a priority.

    If you decide to use this service:

    • call 115, a freephone number available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
    • if you do not speak French, an interpreter will be assigned to your call
    • it is recommended to call between 11am and 3pm
    • if no one answers your call, you can try multiple times
    • make sure to specify the department of residence to get accommodation there. This will ensure you are eligible for financial assistance later on.
  • Some organisations offer emergency accommodation with local residents. 

    You can ask the “associations” in your department if they offer this service.

In the long term

There are solutions available for setting yourself up in a new home suited to your financial resources:

It is recommended to make an appointment with a professional known as a “travailleur social” or social worker.

This professional will be able to help you find accommodation and support you along the way. They will also be able to help you apply for state financial assistance.

They can also help you find stable temporary accommodation while you are looking for long-term housing. This solution is known under two names: either "SIAO (Service Intégré d'Accueil et d'Orientation)", or "Daho (Droit à l'hébergement opposable)".

To make an appointment with a “travailleur social”, you can:

  • Contact the administrative authorities of your department called the “Conseil départemental”.
  • Contact the organisation in charge of social support known as the “Centre communal d’action sociale” in your town by contacting the administrative authorities of your town known as the “mairie”.
  • Make an appointment with your company’s social work assistant or “assistante sociale” if you are employed. You can contact your employer to learn more.

Find support

In France, there are many services that can support you, give you advice, and assist you with procedures and paperwork. Most of them are free of charge.

  • This telephone counselling service is intended for people facing all types of violence and those who support them.

    • This service is free of charge.
    • On the telephone, a trained counsellor will listen to you and support you. They can then direct you to relevant services near you.
    • Languages available: interpretation in all languages.
    • Contact: call 3919, available 24/7. The call will not appear on your telephone bill.
    • For people who are deaf, have difficulties hearing, people with aphasia or who have language impairments, you can access a service adapted for your needs by clicking on the telephone icon at the bottom right of the website
  • The role of the police is to ensure the safety of all people, whatever their situation, even for people without French residency rights. A police officer will be able to advise you and offer assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can contact the police in four main ways:

    • By telephone: call 17, a free number. Languages available: interpretation in all languages.
    • By text message: send an SMS to 114 in French, specifying your exact address.
    • Online: chat service. This service is available in many languages.
    • Go to any police station, i.e. either a “commissariat de police” or a “brigade de gendarmerie”. You can find the closest police station to you on this website. If you don't speak French, they will need to find you an interpreter, this can take some time.
  • Associations” are organisations that offer a range of services.

    • These services are free of charge.
    • The services offered vary considerably from one “association” to another. They can give you advice and sometimes they can assist you with procedures and paperwork.
    • Languages available: mainly French.
    • You will find a list of “associations” specialising in helping victims of violence near you in this directory by selecting your French department.

While the utmost care has gone into providing you with the most accurate and up to date information, this page is not intended to replace legal or professional advice. Laws and procedures change regularly so it is important to consult qualified professionals.

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