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Posted on April 29, 2024

Creating safer homes by tackling domestic abuse

Our homes should be an escape from the everyday; a personal sanctuary where we relax, unwind and re-coop. However, for those experiencing domestic abuse, home can become a place of fear, anxiety and violence.

To ensure our customers can live without fear, we work alongside SafeNet and other partnerships to not only provide support services for people affected by domestic abuse, but to create safer communities where everyone can thrive.

Working alongside SafeNet

SafeNet were founded in Burnley in 1976 and have proudly been a part of The Calico Group since 2010. They provide specialist support and refuge accommodation for survivors, offering a respectful, safe space for women, children and men who are experiencing abuse or violence.

Working in partnership with Calico Homes across the Burnley region, SafeNet are currently supporting 100 women, 73 children and 14 men in their safe accommodation service and 123 adults through their ‘Safe at Home’ community outreach support within the area. These Burnley-based services are funded by Lancashire County Council.

SafeNet also provide domestic abuse services across Greater Manchester.

What are we doing to help tackle issues in Burnley?

An example of work currently taking place in the community are ‘Connect & Respect Healthy Relationships’ sessions in schools for young people.

SafeNet work alongside other specialised DA partners to bring these sessions to local high schools across Lancashire. Funded by Lancashire County Council, sessions often include discussing attitudes and beliefs, managing feelings and teaching conflict resolution.

These sessions are paramount in sculpting a safer community for future generations to enjoy. Community Safety Office Lyndsey continued: “We have a strong working relationship with partner agencies and of course SafeNet, who work alongside us to provide support and protection to survivors”.

By working so closely with SafeNet, Calico Homes are investing in the sustainability of our communities, raising aspirations, and improving the quality of the town.

How Calico Homes continue to support people experiencing domestic abuse

At Calico Homes, all of our staff are trained to provide support around domestic abuse issues so everyone can speak to them in confidence; whether that’s a concerned neighbour or someone who is fearful of their partner’s behaviour.

Lyndsey, who works hard to co-ordinate the Community Safety Team, continued: “We will always approach Domestic Abuse cases with a survivor centred approach and work with survivors to help support, safeguard and protect them”.

Calico Homes have a ‘Zero Tolerance’ approach to domestic abuse and will always support and advise any of our customers, regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, disability or financial status.

Lyndsey concluded: “The team also look at which legal remedies are available to protect survivors, and if appropriate and agreed by the survivor, what legal action can be taken against the perpetrator.”

Calico Homes work closely alongside Lancashire Police and Burnley Council to ensure we can make everyone in our communities feel as safe and supported as possible.

DAHA (Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance) accredited

A few years ago, we became the first housing association in the North West to gain a DAHA (Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance) accreditation. This is the UK benchmark for how housing providers and landlords should respond to domestic abuse in their neighbourhoods and communities.

Domestic abuse and community impact

The combination of a global pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis over the last few years has seen rates of domestic abuse skyrocket. In Burnley alone, domestic abuse factored in a massive 17 percent of reported violent crimes.

We know that 2.1 million people in the UK experienced domestic abuse in 2023. As statistics are so high, we know that domestic abuse is unfortunately happening in our neighbourhoods.

Data obtained via freedom of information requests to police forces nationwide showed that a total of 21,558 such crimes were recorded by Lancashire Police between November 2022 and December 2023 – an average of 59 incidents per day.

These high levels of domestic abuse can affect survivors and the community alike, impacting everyone from children to local businesses and even influencing future generations.

If you’re wondering how domestic abuse can affect the economy, the short answer is missed days of work and increased medical costs, which costs the UK over £66 billion a year.

When it comes to children, exposure to domestic abuse can skew their understanding of relationships and conflict, creating a generation of people who can become vulnerable to further abuse or in some cases go on to become an abuser themselves.

Lyndsey Blades, Community Safety Officer at Calico Homes, said: “Housing is always a worry for anyone wanting to come forward and report Domestic Abuse, but we will always work within the best interests of the survivor to ensure that they have a safe place to call a home.”

By supporting those who need protecting – whether that’s you, your neighbour or someone you have identified as needing help – we aim to create safe communities where everyone is free to call home.

Want to know more? You can learn more about the refuge and support services offered by SafeNet here.

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