Camden calls for a co-ordinated approach to domestic violence support
Camden Council has responded to the Government's consultation on support for victims of domestic abuse in safe accommodation.
In Camden, we are committed to giving survivors and their families the support they need to end domestic abuse, to be safe and to build good lives. Our Camden 2025 plan makes clear that domestic violence should have no place in Camden and everyone in the borough should have a place they call home.
Our aim is further supported by the Mayor of Camden’s chosen charity, Solace Women’s Aid, which provides specialist support, advice and refuge space in Camden and across London.
We welcome the Government’s proposals to support all victims including those with no recourse to public funds, but we need to see more detail on how this will be carried out. We’re also glad to see proposals to introduce standardised needs assessments, as well as an increased focus on local authority leadership so that we can better support all of our survivors.
But, as the Government itself has recognised, domestic violence services are chronically underfunded. What we call for now is real investment into these services, so that we can keep all survivors safe.
Camden’s message to anyone experiencing domestic abuse is 'you’re not alone – we’re here to help'. In Camden we fund a range of services and accommodation relating to domestic violence and abuse through council services, commissioned services and within the voluntary sector. Our dedicated service Camden Safety Net provides impartial and confidential advice to survivors and their families living, working or studying in Camden.
However, this is not the situation across all local authorities and we know that the vast majority of victims of domestic violence need to access refuge provision away from their home borough in order to be safe.
We are calling for a co-ordinated approach to domestic violence services across London and urge Government to ringfence funding for the next 10 years to build stability into this essential and vulnerable area of work. Resources should also be prioritised for alternative housing provision such as safe temporary accommodation, as well as wrap-around support to help survivors to safely stay in their homes if they choose to.
It is essential that whilst we ensure survivors are protected and supported, we also work with perpetrators to effectively break the cycle of domestic abuse. To do this we need a robust, co-ordinated community response. Domestic violence is everybody’s business.
One in four women and one in six men will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime. Domestic abuse can happen to anyone – regardless of age, gender identity, sexual orientation or culture. It isn’t just physical – it can include verbal, psychological, sexual, financial and emotional abuse, including controlling and manipulative behaviour.