Sanctuary schemes 13.12.06
Women's Aid welcomes the new guidance from the Department of Communities and Local Government to local authorities on Sanctuary Schemes.
Sanctuary Schemes play an important role in providing women and children experiencing domestic violence with the option to continue to live in their own homes, providing that the perpetrator is no longer in the property and that a full risk assessment has shown that this is a safe option.
However, Sanctuary Schemes must work as a part of a package of protection and support services, to ensure that the woman is not only safe inside the home, but also when she is out in the local area, going to work and taking her children to school. Abused women should also have effective legal protection as well as access to ongoing support provided by Women's Aid and other outreach services, as part of a co-ordinated multi-agency community response.
For some women, this scheme will not be appropriate, and it will be safer for them to move into our temporary refuges and then be re-housed away from their home area. In all cases, it is vital that there is clear and ongoing risk assessment and that safety remain a priority throughout.
Guide: Options for setting up a Sanctuary Scheme
This joint LGA and Communities and Local Government guidance aims to help local authorities and other key stakeholders set up and run effective schemes designed to help victims of domestic violence.