St Mungo’s welcomes the opportunity to comment on proposals for the future delivery of support for domestic abuse survivors. Our response comments on the proposed model of support from the perspective of survivors facing multiple disadvantage and survivors who are homeless or sleeping rough.
Our response highlights the following key messages:
- The majority of homeless women are survivors of domestic abuse. The risk of domestic abuse and lack of specialist support remains a significant barrier to recovery from homelessness for many St Mungo’s clients. Specialist domestic abuse support is crucial to ending women’s rough sleeping and homelessness.
- St Mungo’s supports the introduction of a new statutory duty on local authorities to assess need for support for all survivors of domestic abuse, and to commission specialist accommodation based domestic abuse services.
- Implementation of the new duty must be supported by sustainable ring fenced funding, clearer definitions of specialist accommodation and support, a robust national oversight mechanism, automatic priority need for survivors, and close working on domestic abuse and homelessness policy and strategy at local and national level.
- In order to reach all survivors, including those facing homelessness and multiple disadvantage, government should also provide additional and separate sustainable future funding streams for specialist community.