Thursday, 4 January 2007

Council to launch sanctuary scheme

Redcar and Cleveland Council is one of the first local authorities in the North East to follow government guidance and offer a sanctuary scheme for residents who are victims of domestic abuse.

The scheme's aim is to provide a victim-centred initiative for people who have experienced or are at risk of domestic abuse and, as a result, likely to be made homeless.

The Council's Cabinet Member for Health and Social Services, Councillor Valerie Halton, who leads on domestic violence issues, said: "For many people, being able to stay in their own home is important, as they may have an existing support network, including health facilities and it is better for the children’s welfare if they do not have to move schools.

"The Sanctuary Scheme will not be suitable for everybody, but it will give victims of domestic abuse who face homelessness an additional choice when considering the options available to them."

To deliver the scheme, which will be launched on Monday, January 8, the Council is working in partnership with several agencies including the Police, Women’s Aid, Victim Support and Guinness Trust Housing Association.

The Council's Housing Options Development Manager Jane Bayley said: "The scheme helps people to remain in their home and feel safer by adding additional security measures to the property.

"These can include alarms, locks, CCTV, fire safety equipment and the creation of a ‘safe room’ within the home. Each sanctuary will be tailored to meet the needs of the individual and in addition ongoing support will be offered."

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