Specialist support for people suffering domestic violence receives prestigious endorsement

Anyone living in a Hackney Council home who is suffering from domestic violence can get the help and support they need from specially trained housing officers.

The Council is committed to tackling domestic violence and people working in its Housing Services are ideally placed not just as a first point of contact for those affected, but also to potentially spot and raise concerns.

New policies and procedures have been put in place to ensure the Council has a more victim /survivor based approach and holds those carrying out the abuse to account. 

This has led to both its tenant management, which supports residents living on estates, and homelessness, housing options and advice teams achieving the prestigious Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA) accreditation. This is the only accreditation scheme of its kind in the UK and is recognised by the government's Ending Violence against Women and Girls Strategy: 2016 to 2020.

Each year nearly 2 million people in the UK suffer some form of domestic abuse - 1.3 million female victims (8.2% of the population) and 600,000 male victims (4%).

Domestic abuse can be physical abuse (including pushing, hitting or kicking), sexual abuse, violent or threatening behaviour, controlling or coercive behaviour (when someone repeatedly behaves in a way making another feel controlled, dependent, isolated or scared), economic abuse, psychological/emotional abuse (such as making someone feel bad or scared by name calling, swearing or yelling, blaming, gaslighting).

DAHA’s aim is to improve the response to domestic abuse in the housing sector through the introduction and adoption of an established set of standards and an accreditation process.

Under the new approach introduced by Housing Services:

  • the housing management and homelessness, housing options and advice teams have developed a joint policy to ensure a coordinated approach to supporting those suffering domestic violence and to ensure any cases can be identified as quickly as possible and people given the right support and advice - including finding new homes
  • around 90% of housing officers who deal face-to-face with residents have had comprehensive training to enable them to spot the signs of any potential issues of domestic violence and how to talk to people facing domestic violence
  • Information on the support available for domestic violence sufferers has been made available on the Council’s website https://hackney.gov.uk/domestic-abuse-support#housing including translations in a number of different languages
  • a Domestic Violence Abuse Champions Network has also been set to enable those across the service to share experiences and best practice to ensure the best possible support for those facing domestic violence

The accreditation, which lasts for three years, highlights the Council’s work to support those suffering from domestic violence. This work will be showcased at a range of events, workshops and activities marking the United Nations 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign between Saturday 25 November and Sunday 10 December.

Cllr Clayeon McKenzie, Cabinet Member for Housing Services and Resident Participation

Everyone has the right to live in their home in peace and safety, and this accreditation shows how seriously we take this. I would like to congratulate everyone involved in achieving this recognition for the steps we are taking.

Our officers work hard all year round to tackle domestic abuse in Hackney, which includes working closely with local partners to support and protect survivors of domestic abuse and to bring perpetrators to justice.

Hopefully our efforts will give anyone living in one of our homes who is suffering from domestic violence the reassurance that they can come to us in confidence and get the help and support they need to keep them safe.

Cllr Clayeon McKenzie, Cabinet Member for Housing Services and Resident Participation

If anyone is at risk of immediate harm people should contact the police on 999. If anyone is experiencing domestic violence they can contact Hackney Council’s Domestic Abuse Intervention Service anonymously on 020 8356 4458 or by email dais@hackney.gov.uk

More information on the support available can be found at https://hackney.gov.uk/domestic-abuse-support