How we’re ‘Making a Stand’ against domestic abuse
Longhurst Group is proud to have signed up to a new national campaign to help tackle domestic abuse in our communities across the Midlands and East of England.
The Make a Stand campaign centres around a pledge which has been developed by the Chartered Institute of Housing in partnership with Women’s Aid and the Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA).
It consists of four commitments which housing organisations can make to support people that live and work in housing who are experiencing domestic abuse.
Sharon Guest, Executive Director of Housing Services at Longhurst Group, said: “This is a fantastic campaign and we are very proud to make a stand to help address such a serious issue. We wholeheartedly support what the CIH, Women’s Aid and the Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance have proposed.
“Tackling domestic abuse is absolutely crucial and housing associations are uniquely placed to understand and help provide both support and potential solutions. We know that often, new customers who may be homeless or at risk of becoming homeless are survivors, as well as many of our existing customers
“We understand how difficult it can be to break the cycle, with survivors experiencing, on average, 35 incidents before reporting abuse. We will do everything we can to help them, and often their children, to start again in a new home and a new community.
“It’s vital that housing associations and local authorities work together to not only provide solutions for survivors, but also help improve our response and raise awareness of the issue.”
Longhurst Group, which owns and manages over 22,500 homes across the Midlands and East of England, comprises four member companies – Axiom, Friendship Care and Housing, Longhurst and Havelok Homes and Spire Housing and is committed to providing a range of quality services that improve the lives of its customers.
Alison Inman, CIH president, said: “I’m thrilled that Longhurst Group has signed the Make a Stand pledge as this could make a very real difference in local communities.
“Domestic abuse is one of the biggest problems we face today. Millions of people are affected and two women a week are being killed by their partner or ex-partner.
“Housing organisations house and employ millions of people and it is our duty to do more to tackle this issue. These are our homes, our people and this is our problem.
“By signing the Make a Stand pledge Longhurst Group has committed to supporting people in its communities and it is no exaggeration to say that this could save a life.”
Kelly Henderson, co-founder of DAHA, said: “We are very proud to be part of this pledge and commend Longhurst Group for signing up. We know the housing sector plays a crucial role in recognising and responding to domestic abuse and this pledge is a really easy way to not only demonstrate commitment but also take the first practical steps to improving the response for both staff and residents.”
Katie Ghose, chief executive of Women’s Aid, said: “For thousands of women and children across the country, their home is the most dangerous place they can be.
“By signing up to the Chartered Institute of Housing’s Make a Stand pledge, Longhurst Group has sent out a powerful message to survivors of domestic abuse that they are not alone and that there is help and support available to them.”
Make a Stand was launched as part of CIH president Alison Inman’s presidential appeal and Jim Strang has already agreed to continue to support the same cause when he takes the helm in September.
Organisations can sign the Make a Stand pledge on CIH’s website and receive a support pack and other information to help them put the commitments in the pledge in place.
The four commitments are:
- To put in place and embed a policy to support residents who are experiencing domestic abuse.
- To make information about national and local domestic abuse support services available on your website and in other places which are easily accessible to residents and staff.
- To put in place a HR policy and procedure on domestic abuse, or to incorporate this into an existing policy, to support members of staff who are experiencing domestic abuse.
- Appoint a champion in your organisation to own the activity you are doing to support people experiencing domestic abuse.
For more information visit cih.org/makeastand
Below is a list of national support services. However, if you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call 999.
- National Domestic Violence Helpline: Run by Women’s Aid and Refuge. Call 0808 2000 247
- Women's Aid: For a full A-Z list of local support groups, visit womensaid.org.uk
- Refuge: For support and advice, literature and articles, visit refuse.org.uk
- Men’s advice: Confidential support for male victims of domestic abuse. Call 0808 801 0327
- Mankind Initiative: Confidential support for male victims of domestic abuse. Call 01823 334 244
- Neighbourhood Watch: To find our local branch, visit www.ourwatch.org.uk
- Galop: Support for LGBTQ+ people experiencing domestic abuse. Call 0800 599 9247
- The Forced Marriage Unit: Forced marriage and / or honour crimes. Call 020 7008 0151
- Respect: Concerned about your own abusive behaviour? Call 0808 802 4040