Stonewater highlights chance to tackle domestic abuse across society
Leading housing provider Stonewater has said the government must ensure more is done to address domestic abuse across society, including among the old and the young, the LGBTQ+ community and also those with learning difficulties.
In its response to the government consultation on ‘support for victims of domestic abuse in safe accommodation’ which closed on 2 August, Stonewater also highlighted the need for the provision of accessible, good-quality accommodation to be a requirement of all commissioning bodies in order to meet a range of needs.
Helena Doyle, Head of Customer Experience, Supported Housing, at Stonewater, said: “Stonewater is delighted by the government’s decision to place a legal duty on local authorities to provide funding for accommodation-based support for survivors of domestic abuse. We applaud almost everything that is in the consultation and also welcome sustainable funding for refuge provision.
“However, there is an excellent chance to do more. Domestic abuse of older people, younger people, the LGBTQ+ community and also those with learning difficulties is often widely under-reported. The consultation presents an opportunity to end the ‘postcode lottery’ of domestic abuse provision and to ensure a consistent, nationwide approach with good-quality data capture and reporting.”
Helena added: “At Stonewater we provide good-quality, affordable homes for those who need them most; and this includes those who find it most difficult to access housing. For example, at the Stonewater Asian Women's Refuge, we meet the specific needs of South Asian women and children fleeing domestic abuse.
“We also recognise that there is a lack of service provision for those who identify as LGBTQ+ who are trying to flee domestic abuse. Driven by this knowledge, in July 2019 we opened a “Safe Space” for members of the LGBTQ+ community, which is funded by the Longleigh Foundation, Stonewater’s charitable foundation. The “Safe Space” provides short-term accommodation, as well as practical and emotional support to its residents, with the ultimate goal of preparing individuals for independent and permanent housing.”
Stonewater owns and manages 32,500 properties across England, including a number of women’s and other specialist refuges.