Housing association raising awareness of domestic abuse
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities, Legal
Housing association raising awareness of domestic abuseImage: Domestic Abuse via Shutterstock
A housing association is spending August trying to raise awareness of domestic abuse.
Greenfields Community Housing, which manages around 8,450 homes across Essex, saw reports from tenants affected by domestic abuse rise by 20% after running a similar awareness campaign last year.
The social landlord has highlighted that domestic abuse includes a range of behaviours - physical; psychological; sexual or financial - and happens within intimate relationships as well as between family members.
Greenfields warns that it is rarely a one-off event and tends to get worse over time.
The housing association's staff and board members, tenants and other partners will show their support for the campaign by wearing white ribbons and dressing in white.
Leaflets and posters have been distributed that explain about different types of domestic abuse and provide contact details of organisations that victims can contact confidentially, such as Victim Support and Men’s Advice Service.
Greenfields is also working closely with local doctors surgeries to provide ways for victims to be given useful contact details without any risk of the abusers finding out, such as disguising the contact details within an everyday product.
An anonymous Greenfields tenant who was a victim of domestic violence said: “Being in an abusive relationship made me feel so low and worthless, I hated having to lie to family and friends about how I got the bruises.
"My housing coordinator has given me so much support, she showed me that I wasn’t alone and there are people out there who are understanding and want to help, not just for me but for my children too. With the help I have received I now feel confident to get on with my life and be a stronger person. I wish I had reported it sooner. If anyone is suffering what I have suffered I hope they have the courage to report it.”
James Martin, neighbourhood co-ordinator at Greenfields, said: “We want to make it clear to our residents that domestic abuse of any kind is unacceptable. Although we can’t stop it, we hope that by explaining what constitutes domestic abuse and providing ways for victims to seek help and support, we can help to reduce it.”