You are here:

Helping victims of domestic abuse

Efforts to provide refuge to domestic violence victims have been boosted after Waltham Forest Council secured £90,000 to prevent homelessness and to improve emergency accommodation for those fleeing an abusive environment.



The funding will be used to upgrade three Council-owned residential buildings into more suitable accommodation for victims and their children, who are escaping from domestic violence.



Improvements will include enhancing emergency bed space in the temporary housing, offering safe spaces and generally improving the experience of families who have been forced to present themselves as homeless due to domestic violence.  There will also be enhancements to security features, such as CCTV and alarm systems, and general improvements to the look and feel of the properties.



The money will also be used to strengthen the support available to domestic violence victims by giving specialist training to housing officers.



As a result, housing support workers tasked with supporting women and children in temporary accommodation will be better equipped to help them rebuild their lives and resettle, including helping them establish local support networks and assisting them to enrol their children in local schools. This specialist service will complement the work already being undertaken in Waltham Forest to refine and improve domestic violence services.



Cllr Liaquat Ali MBE JP, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Cohesion, said: “Securing this funding represents the latest step forward in our ongoing efforts to combat abuse and help safeguard victims.



“We’re very clear that abuse in any form cannot and will not be condoned in Waltham Forest. We’re committed to working with the police and other local partners to take action against perpetrators and protect those at risk of harm.



“I hope that the housing improvements we’re making, along with the increased level of support our housing officers will be able to provide, will offer some degree of comfort to anyone fleeing domestic violence.”



The £90,000 funding was awarded to the Council by the Department for Communities and Local Government following a successful bid from Waltham Forest’s housing solutions and community safety teams.



Last summer, the Council, in partnership with Waltham Forest Police, launch of a new One Stop Shop offering support to victims of domestic violence.



The private and confidential facility, in the Peabody Group’s CBHA building in Saxon Close, Walthamstow enables domestic violence victims – male and female – to come and speak with a range of partners including police, legal aid advisers, housing officers and Independent Domestic Violence Advocates about what they are experiencing, and in turn receive help and advice about the various support services they can access.



Waltham Forest has been awarded White Ribbon status - accreditation that formally recognises the work carried out by the Council and local partners, including Waltham Forest Police and Leyton Orient Football Club, to raise awareness about DV and encourage members of the community to take a stand against it.



To speak to police in an emergency phone 999. In a non-emergency situation, or if you suspect criminal activity may be taking place, you can report it to police by phoning 101.



To learn about the work of the Council’s community safety team visit www.walthamforest.gov.uk/community-safety.

If you would like more information about any of these press releases or have a different media enquiry please contact us at media@walthamforest.gov.uk or on 020 8496 4521 / 4802.

For out of hours please email media@walthamforest.gov.uk or call 07966 915 157.