One in four people experience domestic abuse in the UK, which means that many victims will live in social housing. It’s therefore vital that housing associations understand the scale of the problem, and work together to tackle it.
Lisa Clarke is Tenancy Specialist Manager at Clarion Housing Group and chair of the National Domestic Abuse Group
10 December 2018
My team is responsible for managing anti-social behaviour and detecting and taking enforcement action for tenancy fraud. We are also responsible for managing domestic abuse cases, which led me to attend a workshop ran by Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA).
DAHA work to improve the housing sector’s response to domestic abuse. They do this by offering an accreditation to housing providers who meet eight core standards of good practice in relation to domestic abuse.
Inspired by their passion, dedication and determination to raise awareness of domestic abuse, we formed a National Domestic Abuse Group, consisting of housing providers and supported by the National Housing Federation.
I’ve been lucky enough to be asked to chair the group.
The aim of the group is to raise awareness within the social housing sector of the need for fit for purpose domestic abuse policies and procedures. The thinking was that if one in four people experience domestic abuse in the UK, then many of those victims will live in social housing. It’s therefore vital that housing providers understand the scale of the problem and adapt their approaches to be proactive, not just reactive.
Since February, we have been on a tour of the country trying to get as many social landlords to join the group as possible. We all work in housing for a reason – to make a difference to our residents. Therefore, it’s not a surprise when I hear about how other providers want to learn how they can help combat domestic abuse.
We have had some great guest speakers, including Sophie Bell from the NSPCC’s DART (Domestic Abuse Recovering Together) programme, which helps families to recover from domestic abuse. The meeting is also a great platform to share best practise, which we can all learn from and potentially implement within our own organisations.
We are aiming high – we want this group to be the leading light in our sector when it comes to championing the proactive commitment that is needed from us all to effectively deal with domestic abuse.
Some of the objectives of our group include:
- standardisation of response to domestic abuse across our sector
- sharing good practice
- supporting and promoting the DAHA accreditation
- improving local links and partnerships
- provide updates on funding opportunities
In conjunction with DAHA and the Federation, we want to shape the response our sector takes to tackle domestic abuse, including influencing key decision makers in organisations like yours.
Come to our next meeting to find out more. It will be held at Regenda’s offices in Liverpool on 6 February 2019 - for more information please click here.
I will leave you with some statistics that capture why this group is so crucial. We look forward to hearing from you and working together to end domestic abuse.
- two women a week are killed in the UK as a result of domestic abuse (DAHA 2018)
- domestic abuse is one of the highest causes of homelessness among women (DAHA 2018)
- housing is the main barrier as to why women won’t leave abusive situations (DAHA 2018)
- each year more than 100,000 people in the UK are at high and imminent risk of being murdered or seriously injured as a result of domestic abuse (SafeLives 2015, Getting it right first time: policy report)
- 62% of children living with domestic abuse are directly harmed by the perpetrator of the abuse, in addition to the harm caused by witnessing the abuse of others (Caada 2014, In Plain Sight: Effective help for children exposed to domestic abuse)