Posted on 23 November 2020
Almost one in three women aged 16-59 will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime*, and sadly this number has increased as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
At Hyde, we are doing everything we can to support our customers who are affected by domestic abuse. We have the Hyde Charitable Trust Domestic Abuse Fund, and we are in the process of gaining accreditation from Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA) for our approach in managing and supporting victims of domestic abuse.
Domestic abuse is defined as an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence. In the majority of cases it is by a partner or ex-partner and in the vast majority of cases, it is experienced by women.
Domestic abuse cases are complex and there are lots of steps we need to take to ensure that we can help the victim get the outcome they want. Members of our tenancy teams are fully trained, and are expert in listening, and offering the correct advice and support. They also work closely with organisations including the police, local authorities, refuges, and social services. Our aim is to give victims the support they need– whether it’s signposting to legal advice or ensuring that they get to a place of safety.
Tenancy Officer, Carl Jones works with and supports customers who are victims of domestic violence. He said: “I have worked with customers whose partners have put trackers on their phones without them realising, refuse to give them money or a bank card, and give them constant emotional abuse, such as saying that they will kill themselves if they leave.
“Sadly, I have seen in rise in abuse during the pandemic. I would normally have around two open cases, but in the last two months alone, I have dealt with seven cases.”
If a customer approaches us, we do everything we can to help support them. If they want to leave their home, we work with partners including the local authority, and support them to move to a place of safety, such as a hotel, until a new home is found for them. We will also ensure that there are no financial barriers that prevent a victim from leaving their home. Previously, the Hyde Charitable Trust Domestic Abuse Fund has paid for a hotel until alternative accommodation is found.
Hopefully a victim won’t have to stay in alternative accommodation before a new home is found - whether still with Hyde, or a local authority (they might want to stay in the same area to keep their children at the same school, or move somewhere totally different). If it's a domestic abuse case, then our customer is given priority in ‘safe areas’.
Carl said: “We carry on working with our customers until we know that they are safe. We provide advice on everything from obtaining civil injunctions (for example non molestation orders) and put them in touch with charities which can help with legal costs, right through to practical advice such as not using the same route home leaving work to avoid being followed.”
We're incredibly proud of the work that we do to support victims of domestic abuse – many who have said that if we hadn’t helped – physically, emotionally and financially – they would still be living with abusive partners.
Carl said: “I am proud of the work that I do – I often get invited to internal and external meetings to provide support and expertise to help other victims. There is nothing more rewarding than working with victims of domestic abuse and helping them become survivors of domestic abuse.”
White Ribbon Day is 25 November 2020.
If you are a victim of domestic abuse or have concerns that another Hyde resident is suffering domestic abuse, see our advice. If you feel something is happening right now, please call the police on 999.