York-based partnership to help keep domestic violence victims safe

Work to protect victims begins after a successful bid for £300,000 in funding.

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Staff at Yorkshire Housing’s Home Improvement Agency (HIA) in Sheffield have announced a project to help and support victims of domestic abuse.

The partnership, which began fitting security measures at the homes of sufferers from 1st August, follows a successful bid for £300,000 in funding.

The grant has been split equally between Yorkshire Housing’s South and North HIAs and covers Sheffield, Barnsley, and North Yorkshire.

The South HIA team has “significant experience” in assisting with contracts of a sensitive nature due to working with IDAS and Rotherham Metropolitan borough council to deliver the domestic violence service in Rotherham since 2011.

York-based IDAS, which started as York Women’s Aid in 1977 and whose patrons include Chocolat author Joanne Harris, will collect the referrals.

Due to the sensitivity of the contract, HIA staff attend domestic abuse training annually to ensure they are fully equipped to deal with any circumstances that may arise during the visits.

Layla Walton, the South HIA and Internal Adaptations manager who is coordinating the scheme in the south, said help is available to both women and men.

“This scheme is for the protection of anyone who is at risk,” she said.

“Perpetrators are often perceived to be male, but this is not always the case. We are here to assist and provide safety measures for all victims that access the IDAS service regardless of gender.”

The work fits into the HIA’s overall mission – which is to help ensure everyone can remain independent, secure, and have a safe place to call home.

Layla added: “We’re committed to helping people live independently and comfortably in their own homes and in a way that keeps their dignity.

“There could always be a risk. For example, the perpetrator could be anywhere around the property.

“We will therefore monitor situations by speaking with the customer and the referral agency to ensure nobody is put in danger.”

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