DOMESTIC ABUSE Continued (1)

If someone is homeless (or likely to become homeless in the next 56 days) and asks the council for help with housing, they should make a homelessness application. Once a homelessness application has been taken the council will have certain duties to help. Depending upon their circumstances, they may have to find emergency accommodation or perhaps help someone return or stay in their home. An individual  can make a homelessness application to any council, regardless of where they have been living or the reasons they have become homeless. If the council refuse to take a homelessness application, get help immediately from a Shelter Cymru advisor.

The council will want to talk to the individual about what has happened and how they have become homeless. They should offer the choice of being interviewed by a person of the same sex and should speak to the individual sensitively. If the person interviewing is not being sympathetic or is not taking the victim seriously, tell them, or ask to speak to their manager.

The council may ask for some evidence of the abuse or threats, for example a crime reference number. However, if the individual cannot supply evidence, the council should take their word that they have been a victim of abuse or threats of abuse. An individual may be asked to sign a statement stating what has happened. Just because someone may not have suffered actual abuse in the past, this does not mean it could not happen in the future. The council should not insist that an individual prove abuse has already happened.

The council will then carry out an assessment of someone’s situation to decide what help they should give.  The council, with the victim’s permission, may contact the police, friends and relatives, landlord, doctor, or anyone else the victim may have told or who may know about the abuse. However, they should not contact the person who has been violent against the individual or threatened them, as this could put them at risk.  If the council decides that someone is eligible for help, homeless, or at risk of homelessnessthen the council should provide support as soon as possible.

Listen to the audio for this lesson below.