14 October 2019

Victory Housing Trust work with Leeway to help vulnerable families in rural areas

Isolation, closed communities and difficulty in accessing services means victims of domestic abuse, living in rural areas, need more support to escape and rebuild their lives. Research has shown victims in rural areas stay longer with abusive partners, on average three years before seeking help, compared to 2.6 years in urban areas.

A major reason why people stay in or return to violent relationships is lack of access to safe, long-term, independent, affordable accommodation. Therefore, housing is a key resource that enables people to end abuse from partners and ex-partners.

As of February, next year, Victory will be working with Leeway and running their ‘Power to Change’ course for people who are either survivors of domestic abuse or still living with an abusive partner. They will also be offering a drop-in advice surgery which offers a place to talk and receive advice.

"Housing plays a unique role in supporting victims of domestic abuse, it can offer a safe place and chance to rebuild a life. As a rural housing provider, it is important that we do all we can. The drop-ins will offer support and guidance from specially trained staff and will be open to our tenants as well as the wider community in North Norfolk”, said Charlotte McKnespiey, Senior Community Management Officer for Victory Housing Trust.

As a Group, Flagship have committed to provide support for people experiencing domestic abuse by making a pledge to support the ‘Make A Stand’ campaign. They have also established a project group to create a consistent approach to domestic abuse across the Group.

Additionally, with the help from Norwich Dulux Centre, staff recently got together to transform a refuge property which is now freshly painted, fully furnished and ready to let. The home will help to provide space for three women and two children who have fallen victim to domestic abuse.

Mandy Proctor, Chief Executive of Leeway, said: “We are delighted to partner with Victory Housing Trust to deliver a new refuge service in North Norfolk, as well as running a Power to Change course in early 2020. These services will help to eliminate the postcode lottery that those in rural communities often face when attempting to access support. Working in partnership sends out a strong message that domestic abuse is not accepted in our communities and we are excited to work with Victory and the Flagship Group.” 

*Research from National Rural Crime Network

For more information, contact Flagship Communication Team on commsteam@flagship-group.co.uk