Councils open safe space for domestic abuse victims

07 Jul 2017

Stevenage Borough Council and its partners including Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council have opened a unique safe space for people fleeing domestic abuse.

It offers men and women who have suffered domestic abuse a haven where they can stay for up to a week while they take stock and decide on their next steps.

People fleeing domestic abuse often have life changing decisions to make. The new space means victims of domestic abuse from Stevenage and Welwyn Hatfield, will have somewhere safe and secure to stay in an emergency, while they make decisions on their future and that of any children involved.

Stevenage Borough Council and Stevenage Against Domestic Abuse (SADA) are also launching weekly drop-in sessions in July, so people who have suffered domestic abuse can speak to others who have been in the same situation.  The idea came from the Stevenage forum for former victims of abuse.

Councillor Sharon Taylor, Leader of Stevenage Borough Council and Chair of SADA, said: “Protecting men and women who have suffered abuse in their own homes is a real priority and we can now offer people a safe place so they have time to think about what they can do if they find themselves in this very difficult situation.

“The drop-in sessions are another important way we can give people who have been abused have somewhere to go for advice and support, while they make important decisions about their life and future safety.”

Councillor Roger Trigg, Executive Member for Community Safety at Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, said: “Securing this funding is excellent news and shows that we’re all united in our commitment to support survivors of domestic abuse. It will help men, women, and their families, to rebuild their lives – and support the vital work of the Welwyn Hatfield Women’s Refuge. Domestic abuse can happen to anyone, at any time, so it’s important that the right provisions are in place to help those that need it.”

A £107,000 grant from the Department for Communities and Local Government funded the respite Space initiative. Partners involved in the project include SADA, Hightown Praetorian and Hertfordshire Constabulary.