Public consultation to help finalise important strategy supporting victims of domestic abuse

Image to illustrate safe accommodation for domestic abuse victims

Residents, community groups and partner organisations are invited to help finalise the Royal Borough’s strategy for providing safe accommodation and associated support for victims of domestic abuse. 
The council is consulting on its draft Domestic Abuse Safe Accommodation Strategy 2021-24, which sets out how safe accommodation and support for domestic abuse victims and their children will be provided over the period.

This follows initial engagement in order to assess local needs, involving feedback from victims and relevant partner organisations including The Dash Charity, the Domestic Abuse Forum, Thames Valley Police, and health and social care services.

The draft outlines six priorities as the focus of delivery, with an overarching priority to ensure that victims of domestic abuse and their children have access to safe, good quality accommodation that meets their needs. 

The priorities are access to safe accommodation, support to remain safely at home, perpetrator management, coordinated support, victim representation, and improved data collection across services. 

The two-week consultation runs until midnight on Friday, 4 February, and people can take part on our consultation portal. Feedback will then be considered and a finalised strategy presented to Cabinet for adoption on 24 February. 

Councillor Stuart Carroll, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Children’s Services, Health and Mental Health, said: “As a council, we already work closely with partners to provide safe accommodation for victims of domestic abuse and their children, with each family offered tailored support to meet their needs. 

“The Domestic Abuse Safe Accommodation Strategy is a new legal requirement for councils and, once adopted, will complement our wider Domestic Abuse Strategy and our excellent joint working and initiatives already in place to support victims.  

“It will provide a way to better prioritise work and investment to enable us to ensure all victims and their children can access good quality, affordable and safe accommodation, along with appropriate support, to start to rebuild their lives.

“People’s valuable responses will help to test the draft strategy, ensure its priorities are in line with what people think is most needed locally, and help guide provision of options for safe accommodation and tailored support packages.”

The strategy and associated action plan will remain live for three years, after which point a review of its effectiveness will take place and the strategy will be amended/refreshed for the following years.

The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 requires local authorities to carry out a needs assessment of the need for accommodation-based support for victims of domestic abuse or their children, prepare and publish a strategy for the provision of this support, and monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the strategy.