Domestic abuse charity, IDAS, is looking for people with a spare room and the time to dedicate to providing hosted, emergency accommodation to guests who have been subjected to domestic abuse.
Leaving an abusive relationship can be one of the most dangerous times, yet all too often people are unable to access suitable, short term, emergency accomodation or do not have the breathing space to plan for their future.
Safe Havens is an innovative project supporting victims and survivors of domestic abuse to access safe, accomodation quickly, provided by trained, volunteer hosts and supported by a dedicated domestic abuse worker from IDAS (Independent Domestic Abuse Services).
Being a Safe Havens host is an opportunity to guide and assist a person through challenging times. Hosts can assist the guest in many ways to reach their potential and future goals. Being with a trained host in a host’s own home, offers guidance and support whilst the guest plans for their safer future, free from abuse and violence.
Pauline (not her real name), a survivor of domestic abuse, said of the scheme:
If I had known what help was out there when I was trying to leave, things would have turned out very differently for me. I was young and very scared of my then husband. My family not only did not recognise the abuse but wanted me to stay with my husband. It was only when he went on to remarry his second wife, who left him for the same reasons, that people began to realise what he was.
I wish I could have taken my daughter and run, even just for a few days to get my head straight, but I had nowhere safe to go and he’d threaten me with awful things if I tried. I know now that IDAS would have helped, and I could have avoided 8 years of pain. Being offered a safe place, for a short time might have made all the difference to me and I’m sure it will make all the difference to people who are trapped with abusers now.
Anna Dinsdale, Local Area Manager IDAS, said:
Escaping an abusive partner or family member is rarely straight forward, it takes tremendous bravery and courage. The IDAS Safe Havens hosted, emergency accomodation project aims to provide people with the option of short-term respite and relief in addition to our refuge accomodation. Safe Havens hosts will play a key role in assisting their guests by making them feel safe and welcome in their home, giving them time to consider their next steps.
The project is initially taking place in North Yorkshire and the charity are running a series of information sessions for members of the public who are interested in becoming hosts to find out more.
Hosts will be Police checked and received training and full support from Domestic Abuse Practitioners and the project coordinator.
For more information, please email Mel.Milner@idas.org.uk