Many survivors of domestic abuse leave their home to escape a dangerous partner.
Many survivors of domestic abuse leave their home to escape a dangerous partner. But right now, not everyone fleeing domestic abuse in England is guaranteed a safe home from their council.
Because people fleeing domestic abuse aren’t automatically considered in ‘priority need’ in England, they are required to provide evidence that they are vulnerable, or of the abuse that they’ve suffered. That can mean having to go back to an abusive partner, or to provide a criminal reference number – a huge challenge when many survivors are too frightened to report abuse to the police.
Having to provide this kind of evidence can be extremely traumatic. Not only that, it’s no guarantee of a safe home.
In Wales, survivors of domestic abuse in Wales are already considered priority need. In Scotland, anybody who is unintentionally homeless is entitled to support. But in England, survivors of domestic abuse are often told by their council that they aren’t in priority need. That means they have no choice but to return to a dangerous situation or face the devastating impact of homelessness.
The Domestic Abuse Bill is our chance to change this. The Bill could extend automatic priority need to all survivors, so that anyone fleeing domestic abuse in England is guaranteed a safe home. Unless we include this in the final Domestic Abuse Bill, we’ll miss a vital opportunity to protect and support people fleeing domestic abuse.
Crisis is supporting a campaign led by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Ending Homelessness to ensure people fleeing domestic abuse have a safe home. Together, we can make sure the Domestic Abuse Bill guarantees anyone fleeing their situation a safe home.
We'll be working to make sure the Domestic Abuse Bill guarantees survivors a safe home. Sign up as an e-campaigner to stay updated on ways you can help. Together, we can #EndHomelessness – and that means making sure nobody becomes homeless as a result of fleeing domestic abuse.
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