Thursday 29 February 2024
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No room available for women escaping violent partners in Gedling

Gedling borough doesn’t have enough accommodation to deal with the rising number of local people escaping violent and abusive partners.

If action isn’t taken quickly, the council warns victims may decide to stay with their abuser – or risk homelessness.

A report for a meeting of the council’s cabinet on Thursday, August 5, says  every domestic violence refuge in Nottinghamshire is currently oversubscribed, partly due to an increase in cases during the pandemic.

The JUNO Women’s Aid charity, which supports up to 600 survivors of domestic abuse in Nottingham and south Nottinghamshire, says its helpline has received 58 per cent more calls in the last 12 months.

There is now a shortage of refuge and other temporary accommodation such as council flats or bed and breakfast rooms.

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But the report to Gedling councillors states there is also not enough permanent accommodation for survivors of abuse.

It says: “Move-on accommodation is increasingly difficult to find and families can be left in refuge or temporary accommodation longer than is necessary.

“There is a lack of appropriate and affordable accommodation for families who are ready to leave refuge or temporary accommodation both in social housing and privately rented sectors.

“Access to safe housing options is essential. Lack of access to safe secure housing is a major barrier to escaping abuse.

“The provision of refuge places for victims and their families exceeds the refuge accommodation that is currently available.”

Gedling Borough Council administers The Sanctuary Scheme which was set up to offer an alternative to temporary accommodation, by helping domestic abuse survivors stay in their own homes.

The scheme provides additional security for properties, including replacement door and window locks and external lighting. So far, 14 houses have benefitted costing just under £10,000.

Gedling borough’s Domestic Abuse and Accommodation Working Group has also recommended  the issue be given a  higher profile within the council. It believes the authority should consider nominating a strategic lead within the council cabinet.

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