Councils must provide victims of domestic abuse with “safe accommodation” under new rules

Local authorities must now provide support and safe accommodation to victims of domestic abuse, it has been announced.

It comes after the Government set out new guidance on how councils can support families suffering at the hands of an abuser.

According to the new rules, victims who need to leave the family home must be provided with “safe accommodation” that meets a certain set of requirements.

This means privately-owned and managed temporary accommodation that is not separate or self-contained and with shared toilet, bathroom, or kitchen facilities (such as Bed and Breakfast accommodation) and mixed homeless hostels are no longer considered a “safe place” for victims to recover from abuse.

However, councils should also support victims who wish to stay in their own homes, providing the perpetrator has left and the home can be “made safe”.

Local authorities must also provide “expert specialist support” to victims, the guidance adds. The Government plans to invest £125 million in counselling services for adults and children, and in councils to provide support with advocacy with services such as GPs, social workers, welfare benefits, rehousing, and advice on staying safe.

Commenting on the new rules, Minister for rough sleeping and housing, Eddie Hughes, said: “Domestic abuse is a horrendous crime and specialist support from experienced domestic abuse services is key if victims and their families are going to get the help they need to rebuild their lives.

“This is an important step in making sure victims up and down the country who need a place of safety receive the level of care they deserve.”

Click here to access the new guidance for local authorities.

For help and advice with family and relationship matters, please get in touch with Alison Green, Head of our Family and Relationship Team at Mackrell.Solicitors on +44 (0) 20 7240 0521 or at alison.green@mackrell.com

The following two tabs change content below.
Alison Green
Alison joined Mackrell.Solicitors in 1989 and qualified as a solicitor in 1991, becoming a partner in the firm in 2010. Her expertise covers matrimonial work, including divorce and the associated financial and children issues; pre and post-nuptial agreements; co-habitation disputes; civil partnership agreements and the breakdown of civil partnerships.