Future Delivery of Support to Victims and their Children in Accommodation-Based Domestic Abuse Services

Based upon our experience in running specialist women's refuges, we agree that those who flee their home due to domestic violence should be entitled to housing, especially if they have been forced to surrender their accommodation.

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Leading housing association Stonewater welcomes the government’s proposal, announced on Monday 13 May, to introduce a new legal duty on local authorities to deliver support to survivors of domestic abuse and their children within accommodation-based services.

Based upon its experience running specialist women's refuges across England, Stonewater agrees that those who flee their home due to domestic violence should be entitled to housing, especially if they have been forced to surrender their accommodation.

As a housing association that owns and manages 32,000 homes, we know that there is no one-size-fits-all for people who experience domestic violence. Some want to stay in their home, others have no option but to leave. Crucially the legislation the government is proposing will mean they can make that decision without the risk of homelessness.

Stonewater also applaudes the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government for acknowledging the diverse needs of those who experience domestic abuse and their children, and the importance of ensuring they have access to provisions that are right for them.

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.

These women often have no recourse to public funds and find it very difficult to access support services due to their immigration status and the abusive situations they have fled. The team at the refuge provides accommodation, as well as practical support to acheive Indefinite Leave to Remain. Without this specialist provision, many of these women would undoubtedly be homeless and destitute.

Stonewater will now be contributing to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government's support for victims of domestic abuse in safe accommodation consultation ahead of the deadline on 2 August 2019.