Warwickshire County Council, along with domestic abuse service provider Refuge, has used Government funding to offer a new way to provide safe accommodation to anyone who may be affected by domestic abuse.
The council (WCC) already commissions Refuge to provide emergency accommodation for women and their children fleeing domestic abuse. This new model of dispersed accommodation will build off the already well-established service delivered by Refuge, ensuring victim-survivors who may have previously struggled to access accommodation-based support, now can.
Those victim-survivors include male victim-survivors (with and without children), larger families, female victim-survivors with sons over the age of 12, transgender victim-survivors, victim-survivors who have disabilities, victim-survivors with pets and older victim-survivors with mobility needs.
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This new accommodation model will offer self-contained properties dispersed across Warwickshire for victim-survivors. Tailored wrap-around support will be available for these individuals through dedicated specialist domestic abuse workers.
Varying sizes of properties are included to meet the needs of single people as well as families, offering a safe space to rebuild lives, particularly important if children are living in the property too. With close proximity to local amenities and public transport, a selection of the properties also welcome pets.
The decision to offer more flexible support to all victim-survivors responds to requirements of the Domestic Abuse Act (2021) and follows extensive local research which highlighted a need for equitable and accessible support.
The new accommodation will incorporate support for all and provide safe havens for Warwickshire residents and people from outside of the county in line with the Domestic Abuse Act’s requirement for cross-border support.
Cllr Andy Crump, WCC’s portfolio holder for community safety said: “Warwickshire has a comprehensive safe accommodation provision that has only been bolstered by the addition of the dispersed accommodation.
"Central Government funding has allowed for further investment into our Safe Accommodation Strategy, taking into account the need for housing units that meets wider representation needs.
"I am pleased to see the expansion of the support and the continuation of our working relationship with Refuge.”