Domestic abuse and coronavirus – guidelines for keeping residents safe

01 May 2020

The government advice to stay at home presents a whole new set of challenges for people experiencing domestic abuse. There will be many occurrences where people are now having to isolate with perpetrators, leaving them unable to escape safely. 

To support our members in the vital work they do to support people experiencing domestic abuse, we’ve summarised the latest guidance on managing domestic abuse during the coronavirus. If you or your staff know or suspect that violence or abuse is taking place, this guidance will support you to take action.

DAHA guidance for general needs providers

The DAHA guidance covers the following: 

  1. Spotting the signs of domestic abuse in housing association properties. 
  2. Availability of specialist domestic abuse support. 
  3. Raising awareness with all residents (includes communication examples for your residents). 
  4. Offering a helpful response to survivors of domestic abuse. 
  5. Advice for residents who are worried about a neighbour, friend or relative. 
  6. Taking action against perpetrators. 
  7. Supporting staff and colleagues. 
  8. Other national domestic abuse support services. 
  9. Further resources. 

The guidance and further resources are available on the DAHA website

Women’s Aid domestic abuse guidance for survivors, friends and family

Women’s Aid have produced new guidance on domestic abuse during the coronavirus outbreak. These include advice on wellbeing for survivors of domestic abuse and resources for friends, family, neighbours and community members. 

Visit the Women’s Aid website to find out more and download the new resources.

Domestic abuse and sexual violence guidance for homelessness settings

Standing Together Against Domestic Violence, St Mungo’s, Single Homeless Project and Fulfilling Lives in Islington and Camden, supported by Homeless Link have produced new guidance for homelessness providers.

You can download the three-page guidance on Standing Together’s website or visit Standing Together’s website for more information.

Advice for domestic abuse safe accommodation providers

The government produced guidance on 23 March to support the management of survivors of domestic abuse and their children who are cared for in domestic abuse safe accommodation settings, including emergency safe accommodation. The guidance covers:

  • Specialist refuge/safe accommodation (shared house).
  • Specialist refuge/safe accommodation (self-contained units with some shared spaces).
  • Dispersed, self-contained accommodation with support.
  • Move-on accommodation.
  • Properties within Sanctuary Schemes or with other enhanced security measures.

The guidance states that refuges and other forms of domestic abuse safe accommodation do not need to close unless directed to do so by Public Health England or the government.

For members providing refuges, government guidance states that refuges (shared houses), refuges (self-contained units), dispersed accommodation, move-on accommodation, sanctuary schemes and other forms of emergency safe accommodation, are usually considered households for the purposes of the household self-isolation policy.