The NHF joins the sector in calls to help young victims of sexual assault access housing

24 March 2022

Solace, the women’s aid organisation, have written to HM Treasury to demand they do more to protect victims of sexual assault aged under 35.

In order to prevent homelessness of victims of domestic abuse, the government is introducing additional exemptions to the Shared Accommodation Rate for Universal Credit and Housing Benefit claimants.

This exemption covers:

  • Rough sleepers aged 16-25.
  • Care leavers up to the age of 25.
  • Victims of domestic abuse and human trafficking.

The NHF supports Solace in their call to HM Treasury to:

  • Expand the planned exemption to the shared accommodation rate for domestic violence and human trafficking victims aged under 35 to include survivors of sexual violence.
  • To provide urgent and immediate support to the most vulnerable women exposed to the cost-of-living crisis.

According to the government’s latest data, nearly 3,000 people were threatened or made homeless as a result of some form of violence in 2020-21. Sexual violence, especially rape, is a cause of homelessness, and for vulnerable young women the lack of available support can be particularly traumatising. The number of people made homeless by violence or harassment increased by 40% over the last two years, and 80% of sexual assault victims were women.

Increasing poverty is associated with an increase in violence against women and girls, including domestic abuse.

We are keen to ensure that the survivors receive the support they need and support the call to HM Treasury to increase targeted support and take action against the cost of living crisis to limit barriers to the recovery and empower survivors.

Who to speak to

Evelyn Williams, Policy Officer