VICTIMS of domestic violence are to be given help to live safely in their own homes rather than being forced to leave, thanks to a government grant.
Southern Domestic Abuse Service (SDAS) has been given a £43,000 slice of a £1m grant to help victims across Havant, East Hampshire, Fareham and Gosport.
SDAS is employing a co-ordinator to work with vulnerable people to put together plans to make their own homes secure and reduce the risk of abuse and homelessness.
It comes as The News revealed earlier this month how 47 homes will be made available for those who need refuge, by councils either buying or renting homes for them.
But an alternative is securing homes where victims are living, rather than moving them to temporary accommodation.
It is known as target hardening or a sanctuary scheme and is available to victims who want to stay in their own home as long as the perpetrator has left.
It is free for victims, regardless of whether they are on their own or living with their family.
Individuals who are privately renting or own their own homes can also get it, but agencies must be satisfied that without the work the victim would be likely to become homeless.
Claire Chatwin, chief executive of SDAS, said: ‘Target hardening/sanctuary schemes play an important role in providing women, men and children experiencing domestic violence with the option to continue to live in their own homes, providing that the perpetrator is no longer in the property and that a full risk assessment has shown that this is a safe option.
‘Southern Domestic Abuse Service is absolutely delighted to be able to offer this new service in partnership with The Blue Lamp Trust.
‘We look forward to being able to support victims and survivors to remain safely in their own homes if they so chose.’
Go to southerndas.org.