Helping victims of domestic violence stay in their homes

A home security scheme from the Redditch Community Safety Partnership has helped nearly 30 individuals and families facing domestic abuse stay in their own homes.

The Sanctuary Scheme supports and protects individuals and families that seek to remain in their own home once the person perpetrating the abuse has been excluded from the property, with works under the scheme ranging from security lights and window locks to house “safe rooms” equipped with security doors.

The scheme, which was recently praised during a Redditch Borough Council scrutiny exercise, has been managed by the Council’s Community Safety team since 2007 and is being highlighted as Redditch’s 16 Days of Action domestic abuse campaign continues.

Redditch Borough Council’s portfolio holder for community safety Cllr Juliet Brunner said: “Domestic abuse by its very nature is frequently perpetrated in the home. But why should victims, particularly women, be made to feel their only choice is to leave their own home which could mean leaving their job, taking children out of schools or losing contact with nearby friends and family?

“By working with the Police and other agencies supporting victims of domestic abuse, this project continues to support residents who have made the brave decision to separate from their abuser and gives them a realistic option to stay in their own home if they choose to do so.”

The 16 Days of Action campaign runs until Sunday December 11, with white ribbons free from Redditch Borough Council One Stop Shops and special public events such as Thursday’s Christmas carol concert, with voluntary donations being accepted to try to raise £1200 so that domestic abuse charity SupportWorks can bring a new domestic abuse education programme to local young people.

The proposed nine-week Domestic abuse Awareness for Youth (DAY) programme could see three teachers delivering a multimedia programme of contemporary music, film and structured discussion to challenge beliefs and attitudes at the root of domestic abuse to young people over 14 in Redditch.

Domestic abuse describes a wide range of intimidating, threatening and violent behaviour. Victims may feel afraid, worthless, controlled, forced and bullied.  People with concerns about the behaviour of a partner or family member can obtain free, confidential advice 24 hours a day from the Worcestershire Domestic Abuse helpline by phoning 0800 980 3331.