Family Housing Association (Birkenhead & Wirral) Ltd, Marcus House, Marcus Street, Birkenhead, Telephone: 0151 647 5000
D O M E S T I C A B U S E
Family Housing Association believes that none of its residents should live in fear of abuse from a spouse or partner, former spouse or partner, or other member of their household. We are committed to offering assistance to any of our residents who are suffering from Domestic Abuse from someone within their home, or from someone outside their home.
We realise that every case of Domestic Abuse is individual and the remedy may be different in each case. We will work with victims to ensure that they are aware of all the options open to them so that they can make an informed decision about their future. It is important that the victims are aware of the voluntary and statutory support available to them.
Definition of Domestic Abuse
We have adopted the cross-government definition of Domestic Abuse where it is defined as; any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional abuse.
Examples of Domestic Abuse include:
We will adopt a victim-centred approach. This means that we will take all reports of Domestic Abuse seriously and that a victim's report alone will be sufficient for them to be given advice and assistance as a matter of priority. However supplementary evidence may be required if re-housing is requested or if there are other serious resource implications.
Where third parties (such as neighbours) report Domestic Abuse, we will take appropriate steps to investigate these reports whilst ensuring those involved are not put at risk. We will seek advice from the Police / voluntary sector as necessary.
Strict confidentiality will be maintained at all times. Victims will be encouraged to allow the Association to share information with other agencies (including the police and local authority departments) in order to ensure that the full range of remedies are available. All information provided by the victim will be treated with the utmost confidence and only passed on to external agencies with their consent.
The perpetrators of Domestic Abuse have been known to be very persistent in their determination to find their former partners. It is therefore very important that the Association does not disclose the victim's location. Where the Association is approached for this information, Association Employees must be completely confident that a request is genuine and that it is not an attempt by the perpetrator to find out the victims whereabouts.
Re-housing by the Local Authority
Under the Homelessness Act 2002 the Local Authority has a statutory duty to accommodate victims of abuse and those in fear of violence from the day it is reported to them. If the victim is unable to secure their own alternative accommodation, Association Employees should make an appointment so that a homeless application can be made. In some cases where there is risk of further violence, the Local Authority will place the victim in temporary refuge accommodation outside the Local Authority boundary.
Victims reporting Domestic Abuse should be interviewed at the earliest possible opportunity, normally by the end of the next working day, however the victim may need to delay the interview. The victim should be advised of their right to alternative accommodation through the Local Authority when they first report the Domestic Abuse and a contact number should be made available.
Dealing with reports of Domestic Abuse
When dealing with a report of Domestic Abuse the Association will: