The domestic abuse official figures in England and Wales are alarmingly high: an estimated 2 million adults aged between 16 and 59 years experienced domestic abuse in 2017/2018 – from these, 1,3 million are women and 695,000 are men.
To discuss this reality and how the housing sector can improve its service to domestic abuse survivors in the context of the new Domestic Abuse legislation, local authorities and support organisations will gather at the Revive Seminar – Tackling Domestic Abuse, to be held on 11th June in Luton. The seminar is organised by Homefinder UK, the national housing mobility scheme, in partnership with Luton Borough Council and it will bring specialist speakers, such as the co-founder of the Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA), Gudrun Helevuo-Burnet.
“DAHA welcomed the news of the Domestic Abuse Bill. As part of the National Housing and Domestic Abuse Policy and Practice Group, we have put together a joint response and recently submitted written evidence to the joint committee with sector partners across the domestic abuse, Violence Against Women and Girls, homelessness and housing group, which endorses the idea of whole housing approach to domestic abuse”, says Gudrun. “Not only is domestic abuse a national issue, but it is also happening in homes right across the country. Housing providers can and are doing more to tackle this situation. They can play a unique role in identifying this crime”, she adds.
Patrick Odling-Smee, Service Director of Housing of Luton Council, also agrees that the new Domestic Abuse bill is a positive step towards providing a better service for domestic abuse survivors. “Many local authorities are already examples of good practice in supporting and accommodating survivors of domestic abuse. The Domestic Abuse Bill will facilitate best practice to be rolled out across the country as today there is still a postcode lottery depending on where survivors reside”, he says.
Alternative for housing
Nearly 2,000 domestic abuse survivors are at risk of homelessness in England, according to new report released by Crisis and the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Ending Homelessness (APPGEH). The report calls for the Government to amend the Domestic Abuse Bill and ensure that those who are fleeing domestic abuse are secured a safe and stable permanent home.
Social housing options for domestic abuse survivors will be at the centre of discussions at the Revive seminar. At this seminar, local authorities will explore which alternatives can currently be used to offer permanent housing for applicants who are fleeing domestic abuse. The focus will be on Homefinder UK’s new division that provides specialist relocation services focused on helping domestic abuse survivors to find a new home across the UK and start a new life away from fear.
“All survivors need good quality accommodation and support wherever they live and the Revive project has been developed to enable people who have been subject to DA to move to areas of the country where they can feel safe, get access to good quality support and affordable housing. The Domestic Abuse Bill will make it a duty for councils to demonstrate how they are supporting survivors and Revive will enable them to do so while also having a real impact on improving their quality of life”, says Patrick.
The seminar will be held from 11:00 until 13:30 on 11th June at the UKCCA, UK Centre for Carnival Arts, 3 St Mary’s Road, Luton, LU1 3JA. The event is FREE and open for housing providers, local authorities and support organisations involved with domestic abuse.
To book your place, email Ildiko.firstname.lastname@example.org.