Aryan Sharma (Student)
According to the Guardian, domestic abuse has caused nearly 1 in 6 new homelessness cases, from April to June of 2021.
Data from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities further suggests that even as the overall amount of homeless people is decreasing, the amount of domestic abuse cases are only going up. According to research, in 2021, out of approximately 34,830 households that were considered homeless, about 5,590 of them were caused by domestic abuse.
Representatives from Women’s Aid believe that it is absolutely unfair for victims to have to make the choice between living with an abuser or facing homelessness. Further research by Women’s Aid in 2020, reported that most women living with an abuser, had said that the abuse had gotten worse during the pandemic. According to estimations, it would take an annual investment of at least £409m, in order to support victims and organise domestic abuse services across the country.
A spokesperson from the Local Government Association stated that the recent domestic abuse bill was more focused on accommodation, rather than any community-based support services. These support services are vital as victims need more support than just accommodation. They would need accepting communities, valuable job opportunities, and safe places to grow from.
A change in the new domestic abuse bill could allow victims to leave their homes, while also having a reliable place to go to, without the risk of domestic abuse.
It is no secret that homeless people have had to suffer over the years, due to poor weather conditions or ineffective government policies, or even a lack of support from local authorities and organizations. With the COVID-19 pandemic only increasing domestic abuse cases, homeless people and domestic abuse victims need support now, more than ever.
Staffordshire University Legal Advice Clinic (SULAC) provides free legal advice on matters regarding domestic abuse, or housing issues. We are working remotely during the pandemic and interviews are conducted via Microsoft Teams. If you would like to make an appointment, please call us at 01782 294800 or email us at SULAC@staffs.ac.uk