Housing Policy & Procedure

Housing Policy & Procedure

PEABODY DOMESTIC ABUSE

Housing Policy

Contact:

Effective from: February 2012

Last updated: September 2012

Next review date: February 2017

1.Policy Statement

1.1The Home Office definition of Domestic Violence is: “Domestic Violence [and Domestic Abuse] includes any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse, (physical, psychological, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or are family members, regardless of gender”.

1.2The London Domestic Violence Strategy defines domestic violence as: ‘Any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality.’

1.3Domestic abuse takes the form of power and control exerted on one party by the other party. Children are affected by domestic abuse too and this raises domestic abuse as a child protection issue.

1.4Peabody recognise that domestic abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of social background, disability, age, gender, religion, sexuality or ethnicity. We also recognise that domestic abuse affects both male and female victims, including those in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) relationships. We are committed to supporting victims of domestic abuse regardless of gender or sexuality.

1.5Peabodytakes domestic abuse seriously and is committed to providing a sensitive and confidential response to anyone approaching us for assistance in cases of domestic abuse.

1.6We will work with our partners to support victims and deal with the perpetrators as domestic abuse cases require a multi-agency approach.

1.7This policy covers all tenants that live on Peabody estates including general needs tenants, supported and sheltered housing tenants and market and intermediate rent tenants.

1.8This policy covers tenants of the former Crown Estate homes at Millbank, Victoria Park, Lee Green and Cumberland Market.The policy also covers Affordable Rent tenants.

2.What we will do

2.1When we deal with domestic violence and abuse cases, we will:

  • Enable residents to report domestic abuse to us in different ways, including in person, in writing, over the phone and online.
  • Investigate all reports of domestic abuse that we receive.
  • Give victims the opportunity to opt for a staff member of the same gender to deal with their case.
  • Ensure that victims know that they can meet staff in confidence at our offices or at an agreed choice of safe venue. We will also agree the method of contact that the victim wishes us to use to stay in contact with them.
  • Carry out a risk assessment(using theDomestic Abuse, Stalking and 'Honour'-based Violence (DASH) Risk Identification checklist) and safety planning to provide support for the victim and their children where present.
  • Provide improved security to a victim’s home, panic alarms and mobile phones where necessary.
  • Work with partner agencies to ensure co-ordinated services to prioritise the victim’s and any children’s.safety.
  • Advise victims of external agencies who can offer further advice and support (for advice on tenancy issues, legal advice etc), and make referrals on their behalf and with their consent*. We can also encourage victims to take part in support programmes to encourage self-empowerment and prevent repeat victimisation. We can also refer victims to organisations that offer advocacy services.
  • Agree an action plan with the victim, monitor the situation and review at a frequency agreed with them.
  • Peabody are participants of Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARAC). Information is shared between agencies involved in domestic abuse cases, and they produce multi agency action plans in response to issues of high risk.*For cases which meet the MARAC risk rating threshold or if we have child protection concerns, we have a legal duty to share this with agencies.
  • Offer advice and assistance via Homeless Persons Unit in cases where emergency temporary accommodation is required (for example, refuges). This can also involve referral to Refuges via the National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247.
  • In cases where the Domestic Abuse, Stalking and 'Honour'-based Violence (DASH) Risk Identification checklistdoes not meet the threshold of a MARAC referral, with the agreement of the victim, we will organise multi-agency meetings to ensure support is received from all relevant agencies (support agencies, police, victim support etc).
  • Make a referralto our welfare benefit advice team for support around financial issues.
  • We will take firm action (where evidence is available)against anyone responsible for domestic abuse. We will work with partner agencies where necessary and keep them updated of any action taken.
  • We will signpost the victims to relevant organisations so they are able to seek advice on a range of criminal and civil remedies, including injunctions and possession proceedings where appropriate. We will also assist victims to take their own legal action where necessary.
  • Support witnesses throughout the investigation and any further action
  • Report incidents to the Police on behalf of victims or support victims in doing so (with their permission), where they feel too intimidated to report incidents themselves. We can also offer third party reporting services if requested.
  • Ensure all our officers receive specialist training on domestic abuse.
  • Ensure all our officers check Peabody’s Caution Alert register before conducting any home visits, to manage customers or their visitors who may pose a risk to our staff or contractors.

2.2We will offer advice to individuals and refer to external advice agencies for example Legal Services Commission or Citizens Advice Bureau where relevant.

2.3We monitor domestic violence/abuse cases across our stock, to allow us to identify persistent perpetrators, monitor the success of our actions, and also the satisfaction levels of victims and witnesses. This can also help us assist victims by prioritising areas or individuals affected by repeated antisocial behaviour, as well as responding to issues affecting diverse communities.

2.4Recent research has suggested that those experiencing domestic abuse may have complex needs and some may utilise coping strategies, including alcohol and substance misuse. In these cases and/or where victims are vulnerable or have mental health issues, we are able to refer to our Tenant and Family Services Team and other appropriate agencies for further support.

2.5Where a perpetrator of ASB (antisocial behaviour) subsequently reports to be a victim of domestic abuse, we will take into account all circumstances, but our priority will be to ensure any resident’s personal safety.

2.6We will treat all victims, witnesses and perpetrators in line with other Peabody policies.

3.Further information and support:

  • Web link for Victim Support -
  • Web link for female victims – Women’s Aid
  • Web link for male domestic violence victims – MALE telephone 0808 801 0327
  • For information and advice for children and young people, please visit the Childline website or telephone Childline free on 0800 11 11.
  • Web link for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) domestic violence victims – Broken Rainbow
  • Web link for Galop – anti-LGBT hate crime charity
  • If someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, the Greater London Domestic Violence Project has produced a leafletoutlining some of the things that you can do to help. The leaflet is available in pdf format from the Mayor of London website.
  • If you are worried you might be forced into marriage or are worried about a friend or relative contact the Forced Marriage Unit on 0207 008 0151.
  • If you are concerned about your abusive behavior, or for professionals and victim/survivors looking for help for an abuser, contact the Respect Phone line on 0845 122 8609 or visit
  • National Domestic Violence Helpline – 0800 247 2000. This helpline is run in partnership by Refuge and Women’s Aid and is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
  • Thenational charity for women and children experiencing domestic violence -
  • Co-ordinated Action Against Domestic Abuse (CAADA) - Web link for victims of domestic abuse -
  • Web link for female victims and legal advice -

4.Other related policies

  • Privacy and Confidentiality
  • Safeguarding Children
  • Safeguarding Adults
  • Communication Needs
  • Lettings Policy
  • Witness Support Promise

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