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Consultation on specialist support for victims of domestic abuse

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Our consultation on how we need to provide specialist support to victims of domestic abuse in the future is now live here

We are seeking views from people in Sheffield about their experiences of domestic abuse services and accommodation to help inform changes that will be introduced by the new Domestic Abuse Act.

We have to make sure that there is sufficient provision of domestic abuse specialist support, especially in provided accommodation, for all people who are experiencing domestic abuse. This includes male victims and people who are LGBTQ+ as well as women. If you need to flee your home, or need support to stay safe in your home, due to domestic abuse then there are a range of options available. This includes:

  • Refuge accommodation (a safe house or larger scheme housing and providing support for multiple people experiencing domestic abuse)
  • Emergency accommodation (such as temporary accommodation, Bed & Breakfast, emergency short term placements in safe accommodation or refuges)
  • Safe accommodation like an individual flat / house which has additional security measures and you have a specialist domestic abuse support worker who visits you
  • Having security measures put into your home

The results of the consultation, which closes on 31st May, will be used to inform a new Domestic Abuse strategy which we are required to write under The Domestic Abuse Act.

What is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse is when you are in or you have been in a relationship with a person, (or this could also be a relative or family member) where they are causing you harm or making you feel scared. Forms of abuse used may include physical and sexual violence, stalking and harassment, emotional abuse, mental and psychological abuse coercive and controlling behaviour, economic abuse, forced marriage and honour-based abuse.

The consultation questionnaire gives opportunities to answer questions relevant to your own particular situation and the types of support you received while living in your own home or in a new accommodation e.g. refuge, Safe Zones property or other accommodation following fleeing domestic abuse. Most questions are for people who have personal experience of abuse, but a few questions can be answered by family and friends of those affected by domestic abuse and by professionals. You can answer as many questions as you like but you don’t have to answer all of them if you don’t want to.

Alexis Chappell, Director of Adult Health and Social Care said: “We’re encouraging as many people as possible to complete the survey, whether or not they have used these services in the past or whether they work with, or are family members of people who are victims of domestic abuse. It only takes a few minutes to complete but will make a big difference in informing how we shape these services. Our aim is to make them the best that they can be in Sheffield and to help as many people as possible in the right way at the right time.”

Our current strategy is at http://sheffielddact.org.uk/domestic-abuse/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2013/05/Domestic-And-Sexual-Abuse-Strategy-2018-2022-FINAL.pdf and the full definition of domestic abuse is at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/domestic-abuse-bill-2020-factsheets/statutory-definition-of-domestic-abuse-factsheet

Our Sheffield Domestic Abuse helpline is on 0808 808 2241