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In a move away from the common refrain “why don’t they leave” this article from The Guardian asks “why should they”.

Councils in England are looking for ways to provide housing for domestic abusers so their victims can stay in the family home, in response to growing calls from some charities and campaigners.

The recently passed Domestic Abuse Act requires councils to publish a strategy to provide housing support for victims and children. Some councils are now drafting plans that include housing for perpetrators along with measures for victims.

Sunderland city council’s draft strategy, which is awaiting sign off, states that alternative accommodation should be made available for abusers as asking victims and their children to relocate causes disruption and women perceived it as unnecessary if safety plans were put in place.

A recent report from the Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance said that

“without the option to remove and rehouse a perpetrator, victims, including children, will continue to suffer by remaining trapped in abusive relationships or being forced to flee their home”.

The report is clear that any such approach must be led and informed by the victim, with risk assessment and management of the perpetrator.It referred to cases where police and judges have been reluctant to issue domestic violence protection notices and orders in case they made the perpetrator homeless, and other instances where abusers are housed in mixed-sex homelessness accommodation alongside homeless abuse victims.

Read the full article here