Posted on 24 November 2021
Thursday 25 November is White Ribbon Day, an international day to raise awareness of violence against women and girls.
This is followed by 16 days of action, where people in communities, organisations and workplaces come together, and say ‘no’ to domestic abuse. Almost one in three women aged 16-59 will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime. Two women a week are killed by a current or former partner in England and Wales alone.
For our Tenancy Enforcement Team, working with, and supporting, customers experiencing domestic abuse is a vital part of the job. To mark White Ribbon Day, we spoke to Janet, a Hyde Tenancy Officer, who told us about one of her recent cases.
Emma* is a Hyde customer living in Kent, with two children.
“Earlier this year, I was contacted by Emma, as she wanted me to remove the details of her partner from her household details,” Janet explained.
“At the time we were in lockdown, so I was only able to speak to Emma on the phone. But it was clear there was more to it, and I suspected that there had been a serious incident.
“After chatting to Emma, she eventually told me that her partner had tried to strangle her when she was in bed – to the point where she had lost consciousness. Her daughter heard what was happening. She pulled him off Emma, and literally saved Emma’s life – she prevented him from killing her. The police were called, and her partner was arrested and bailed, and ordered not to return to the property.
“Emma had experienced domestic abuse in the past but had never reported it. When she finally told us about the incident, we were able to support her. A ‘Non-molestation order’ was obtained, with help from a domestic abuse support worker from the police, and I immediately raised a ‘four hour call out’ to get Emma’s locks changed.
“Working with Hyde’s Property Services team, we not only changed the locks, but secured all the windows and doors. We also put security lights by both the front and back doors. It was a great team effort to ensure that Emma felt as safe as possible, as quickly as possible.
“As soon as I could, I visited Emma to see if she needed any more support. I could see that some repairs were needed – they hadn’t been carried out before as her partner didn’t want anybody in the home. A Hyde surveyor arranged for works to be carried out as quickly as possible, including making the doors and door frames more secure.
“I made Emma aware of our Domestic Abuse Fund, which can help with costs - anything from court costs to travel. I also said we could help her move if she wanted to but Emma declined the offer, as she didn’t want to leave her neighbours. Thanks to Hyde Foundation, we bought Emma a new mobile phone as her partner had broken hers. All her partner’s belongings were removed from the property, so he didn’t have a reason to visit.
“I still check on Emma to make sure she’s OK. She’s putting her life back together and the house has never looked better. Emma didn’t expect anything from us, she only wanted us to remove her partner from the household details so she could move forward. But she tells me that she’s really grateful for our ongoing support.”
*Emma is not our customer’s real name.
Find out more about White Ribbon Day.
If you or anyone you know is experiencing domestic abuse you can access help and support from the National Domestic Violence Helpline, Women’s Aid and Refuge on 0808 2000 247.
If you or others are in immediate danger, phone the police on 999.