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Swale’s first domestic abuse policy

Published Friday 25 November, 2022
Last updated on Friday 25 November, 2022

People can now have their say on Swale’s first draft domestic abuse policy.

The draft policy outlines how Swale Borough Council will manage their response, legal duties, roles and responsibilities, staff training, partnerships and raising awareness of domestic abuse.

Instances of domestic abuse increased three per cent in the past year (Sep 21-Aug 22), with a total of 5,465 incidents reported to Kent Police.

Domestic abuse can include psychological, emotional, physical, sexual, financial, economic, or online abuse, as well as coercive control and can affect anyone. It also covers harassment and stalking, and violent or threatening behaviour.

The policy will form part of the council’s application for a Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA) accreditation, which sets out good working practices within organisations.

Cllr Richard Palmer, chair of the communities committee at the council, said:

“We work closely with the statutory and voluntary sectors to safeguard and support domestic abuse victims, and it’s important that we recognise the good work we do and continue to grow and improve.

“Our draft domestic abuse policy outlines how we’ll manage all types of domestic abuse, not just physical, and will feed into our safeguarding, housing, and community safety policies.

“Having this policy in place is the first step towards becoming part of the Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance, demonstrating our excellent set of standards in supporting victims and survivors of domestic abuse.”

Cllr Elliott Jayes, vice chair of the communities committee at the council, said:

“Formalising our responsibilities and processes helps us better protect the domestic abuse victims in Swale.

“A set of principles outlined in the draft policy outline what we want to achieve, and we want your feedback.

“We want trauma-informed support for the victims and survivors of domestic abuse, a coordinated response across agencies, and accessible services for those who need them.

“I urge you to take part in the consultation. The draft policy is available to view online, and the consultation survey asks if you think our principles are achievable.”

To view the draft domestic abuse policy, and take part in the consultation, visit www.swale.gov.uk/dap

If you’re the victim of domestic abuse and need help, visit www.domesticabuseservices.org.uk or call 0808 168 9111.