New pledge to help tackle domestic abuse launched by the Chartered Institute of Housing

A new pledge to tackle domestic abuse in housing has been launched by the Chartered Institute of Housing.

The Make a Stand pledge has been developed by CIH in partnership with the Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA) and Women’s Aid as part of Alison Inman’s presidential appeal.

It consists of four commitments which housing organisations can make to support people who live and work in housing who are experiencing domestic abuse.

Alison Inman, CIH president, said: “I’m thrilled to be able to launch a pledge which I hope will make a very real difference.

“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.

“As housing organisations we 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.

“We are delighted to be working with DAHA and Women’s Aid on Make a Stand, which I hope is something everyone who works in housing can get behind.

“The pledge is not complicated; it consists of four focused commitments that any housing organisation can achieve, but that could make a very real difference to the lives of many people who live and work in housing who are experiencing domestic abuse.

“I challenge every housing organisation to sign up to the pledge and play their part.”

Kelly Henderson, co-founder of DAHA, said: “DAHA’s mission is to improve the housing sector’s response to domestic abuse.

“We are very proud to be part of this pledge and commend CIH for taking the initiative to reach out to housing providers. We know the 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 improve your organisational response for both staff and residents.  

“The spotlight on this issue in the housing sector is long overdue as we know that on average two women a week are murdered by a partner (or ex-partner). This campaign will make a positive difference and undoubtedly save lives.”

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, housing organisations across the UK will send out the powerful message to survivors of domestic abuse who live or work in housing that they are not alone and that there is help and support available to them.

“We want to ensure that every survivor receives the right response, the first time she reaches out for help. Only by making tackling domestic abuse everyone’s business, can we ensure that every woman and child can live a life free from abuse.”

Make a Stand has been launched as part of 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.

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.

Organisations can sign the Make a Stand pledge on CIH’s website and will then receive a support pack and other information to help them put the commitments in the pledge in place.

Organisations which sign the pledge will have until September 2019, until Jim Strang’s presidency comes to an end, to put the commitments in place.

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