Perth and Kinross Council pledges to Make a Stand
Councillor Peter Barrett, Convener of Housing & Communities at Perth & Kinross Council explains why they have decided to support CIH's 'Make a Stand' campaign against domestic abuse.
Perth and Kinross Council gave all party and unanimous support to signing up to the Make a Stand pledge. We know there is a clear link between domestic abuse and homelessness. Last year there were 80 homeless presentations as a direct result of domestic abuse.
Signing the pledge means trying to put ourselves in the shoes of someone who is experiencing domestic abuse, and in escaping that desperate situation become homeless. If that experience of presenting as homeless doesn’t recognise your circumstances, and the factors which contributed to you needing sanctuary then that system is at risk of making your situation worse.
Perth & Kinross Council’s housing teams have played an active role in the local Violence Against Women Partnership for a number of years, working closely with organisations such as Women’s Aid to make sure that our staff can offer the right advice and support to help people who have experienced domestic abuse. Signing the Make a Stand pledge is a way of publicly confirming our commitment to ensuring that support is part of a proactive approach on early intervention helping people who have experienced domestic abuse to avoid becoming homeless.
We signed up to the Make a Stand pledge Perth & Kinross Council and committed to continuing recognise and support the needs of women and families experiencing housing issues as a result of domestic abuse and to ensure that commitment is embedded within our policies and procedures. We will continue to provide training to all housing staff on domestic abuse, and carry out continual assessment of any gaps in service provision or training needs.
We will also continue to make public our pledge to support people who have experienced domestic abuse. We will do this in partnership with other local registered social landlords, statutory and voluntary sector groups, encouraging them to sign up too. I have also been pressing for CoSLA to get behind the campaign to encourage all Councils to Make a Stand and am pleased to see more Councils pledge their support and increase awareness.
Councils have an important part to play as community leaders. By signing the Make a Stand pledge and making this public commitment, Perth & Kinross Council sends a strong signal to other landlords and organisations that we all have a role to play in helping to support people who have experienced domestic abuse in our communities.
*To find out more about CIH's Make a Stand campaign, please visit our website.