Longhurst Group pledges support for national domestic abuse campaign
17 April 2019
Longhurst Group is here to support customers who may be experiencing domestic abuse.
We are proud to be among a group of over 200 housing associations to have signed up to the Chartered Institute of Housing’s (CIH) Make a Stand campaign, which aims to help tackle abuse in our communities.
The campaign centres around a pledge which has been developed by the CIH in partnership with Women’s Aid and the Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA).
As an organisation, we own and manages over 22,500 homes across the Midlands and East of England and comprise four member companies – Axiom, Friendship Care and Housing, L&H Homes and Spire Homes – and provide a range of quality services that improve the lives of our customers.
"I think there is still stigma attached for people to come forward and report abuse. I think there are still difficulties for people when they do come forward as to what actual support and assistance is there for them and what practical help they can receive."
Sharon Guest, Executive Director of Housing Services, said that with four million people living in social housing across the UK and domestic abuse affecting one in four women and up to one in six men throughout their life, it is likely that a number of those people will be living in our homes.
She said: “It is quite a hidden problem because I think there is still stigma attached for people to come forward and report abuse. I think there are still difficulties for people when they do come forward as to what actual support and assistance is there for them and what practical help they can receive.
“We are really well-placed to be able to provide support and assistance to people who might need that help.
“It is really important to raise awareness and to ensure that we are providing services that our customers can tap into should they need to.”
Our four commitments
The four commitments that we have agreed to as part of the campaign 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 our 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 our organisation to own the activity we are doing to support people experiencing domestic abuse.
"I am really happy to be that champion because it is something I feel strongly that we can make a positive impact for our customers and I am really proud to be doing that."
Sharon added: “One of the pledges is that we have a senior champion within the organisation to ensure that these pledges are being acted upon and that we are doing the best that we can to provide these services.
“I am really happy to be that champion because it is something I feel strongly that we can make a positive impact for our customers and I am really proud to be doing that.”
For more information about the campaign, visit cih.org/makeastand
Below is a list of national support services. However, if you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call 999.
Useful links and information
- National Domestic Violence Helpline: Run by Women’s Aid and Refuge. Call 0808 2000 247
- Women's Aid: For a full A-Z list of local support groups, visit womensaid.org.uk
- Refuge: For support and advice, literature and articles, visit refuse.org.uk
- Men’s advice: Confidential support for male victims of domestic abuse. Call 0808 801 0327
- Mankind Initiative: Confidential support for male victims of domestic abuse. Call 01823 334 244
- Neighbourhood Watch: To find our local branch, visit ourwatch.org.uk
- Galop: Support for LGBTQ+ people experiencing domestic abuse. Call 0800 599 9247
- The Forced Marriage Unit: Forced marriage and / or honour crimes. Call 020 7008 0151
- Respect: Concerned about your own abusive behaviour? Call 0808 802 4040