We’re supporting The 16 Days of Action – otherwise known as The White Ribbon campaign – which takes place globally from 25 November – International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women – until 10 December, Human Rights Day.
As part of our support of the campaign, we’ve announced a new initiative to help tackle domestic abuse, a 16 strong Domestic Abuse Champions group.
Lisa Fairlie, Director of Housing Operations, Neighbourhoods and Operations at Platform Housing Group said: “The theme of this year’s campaign is about domestic abuse in the workplace so it is very fitting that we are announcing the launch of our Domestic Abuse Champions initiative; the group will help support any member of staff who is experiencing or who has experienced domestic abuse.
“We firmly believe that all of our customers and employees should not live in fear of violence or abuse from a partner, former partner or any other member of their household. As a large provider of affordable housing we have a significant role to play in tackling and preventing domestic abuse.”
We currently support customers who are victims of domestic abuse by listening, providing advice, signposting to other specialist agencies, operating safety checks in homes to ensure survivors feel safe as well as dealing directly with perpetrators.
Importantly, 2021 will see Platform become accredited within best practice guidelines as set out by the government backed Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance, a national body that aims to improve the housing sector’s response to domestic abuse. Having established the first accreditation for housing providers, as a member of DAHA, Platform Housing Group will aim to always deal with victims of domestic abuse in a fair, patient and consistent manner. It will also show its commitment to the issue as well as providing ongoing employee training.
Statistics surrounding domestic abuse in the UK make for sobering reading:
1 in 4 women will experience some form of domestic abuse within their lives;
A staggering 2 women a week are killed by their partner or former partner;
1 in 4 LGBT relationships is abusive;
The average victim will suffer more than 50 incidents before reporting;
Worryingly, the number one barrier preventing women from leaving abusive situations is housing.
The UK’s largest domestic abuse charity, Refuge, has reported a 700 per cent increase in calls to its helpline in a single day, while a separate helpline for perpetrators of domestic abuse seeking help to change their behaviour received 25 per cent more calls during the first lockdown; similarly, Women’s Aid reported a 41 per cent increase in the organisation’s live chat service during this period.
Platform Housing Group is part of The Drive Partnership which is made up of Respect, SafeLives and Social Finance. It challenges perpetrators of domestic abuse aiming to fundamentally change perpetrator behaviour to make victims and families safe.
The 16 Days of Action – which is symbolised by a white ribbon - first began at The Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991 and has gone from strength to strength; since this time, more than 5000 groups in 187 countries have contributed to promoting and supporting the campaign. Large organisations such as the world-renowned Amnesty International and World Health Organisation support and celebrate the 16 Days as well as far more local, grassroots projects.
Lisa concluded : “Domestic abuse impacts upon all communities creating a sense of fear and the potential for reprisals and criminal activity. It is a serious and widespread crime affecting all members of our society, including children. Supporting campaigns like this is critical to our work. Our message is simple, we are here to offer help and support to those suffering domestic abuse.”
If you are a Platform Housing Customer that is experiencing domestic abuse, please call 0333 200 7304.Read We’re Supporting The 16 Days of Action…