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tackling domestic abuse key priority for new CIH president

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The new Chartered Institute of Housing (‘CIH’) president, Jim Strang, has outlined his commitment to continue with the ‘Make a stand’ campaign set up by the CIH to tackle domestic abuse. During his presidential year, apart from raising significant money for Women’s Aid, he aims to get every social landlord in the country signed up to the pledge.

The ‘Make a Stand’ pledge was developed by CIH in partnership with Women’s Aid and the Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA) – made up of Standing Together Against Domestic Violence, Peabody and Gentoo. It was launched under the CIH presidency of Alison Inman, and is now being continued this year by current president Jim Strang. As of January 31st 2019, 299 organisations have signed up.

Based on our work in this area, Alertacall is strongly encouraging other housing providers to sign the pledge. As a service provider to a range of higher needs groups, all the team at Alertacall are required to undertake a training course on domestic abuse awareness and are provided with clear guidelines to follow. Increasing the team’s understanding of what domestic abuse is ensures that they are able to spot any signs and are able to better understand the customer’s situation.

The cross government definition of domestic violence and abuse is:

Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality.

Shockingly, 25% of women and 15% of men aged 15 – 59 have experienced domestic abuse in their lifetime. It is also the single most quoted reason for becoming homeless.*

Winner, a women’s centre based in Hull, has implemented the Housing Proactive service from Alertacall as they wanted to dedicate more resource to improving property management and increasing contact with tenants around housing related issues without compromising other areas of the service. Housing Proactive enables the team at Winner to track the occupancy status of each property, and exchange news and information with tenants in a way which enables them to maintain their privacy. Importantly, the system has significantly reduced the time staff spends on handling housing issues and has allowed them to focus on the enhanced support they offer to tenants.

Alertacall works closely with the team at Winner to continue to build on the training for our staff on domestic abuse and develop our service to better meet the needs of other organisations in housing, social and health with their customers. It is great to see that the CIH will continue with its work in this area to help housing providers better support those who live and work in housing who are experiencing domestic abuse.

‘Make a stand’ pledge – Chartered Institute of Housing

Housing organisations can make four commitments to support people who live and work in housing who are experiencing domestic abuse.

These four commitments are:

* To put in place and embed a policy to support residents who are experiencing domestic abuse

* To make information about national and local domestic abuse support services available on your website and in other places which are easily accessible to residents and staff

* To put in place a HR policy and procedure on domestic abuse, or to incorporate this into an existing policy, to support members of staff who are experiencing domestic abuse

* Appoint a champion in your organisation to own the activity you are doing to support people experiencing domestic abuse

To sign the pledge and receive a pledge certificate, support pack and other supporting information – click here.

*LWA – Living Without Abuse. 2019. Statistics. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 13 February 2019].