Domestic abuse victims need “speedy” access to a safe place

The Scottish Liberal Democrat spring conference has today endorsed plans which would strengthen the support and protections in place for victims of domestic abuse who are living in social housing.

The motion as passed outlines calls for:

  • The Matrimonial Homes (Family Protection) (Scotland) Act 1981 to be updated to ensure that abusers can be swiftly moved out of the homes.
  • The Scottish Government to develop a new ‘Destitution Fund’ for people experiencing domestic abuse.
  • All housing organisations being required to appoint a ‘champion’ to direct activity to support people experiencing domestic abuse.
  • The Scottish Government to introduce new national guidance that strengthens a victim’s right to stay in their home and stops them being declared homeless.
  • All housing organisations being required to make information about national and local domestic abuse support services easily available.

Scottish Liberal Democrat housing spokesperson Caron Lindsay commented:

“Domestic abuse is a hideous, controlling and often life-threatening crime.

“I’m very pleased the conference has supported plans to provide domestic abuse victims with the funding and support they need to get back on their feet.

“The last thing victims need in their time of need is to embark on the complex form-filling process to prove they are homeless or be left to fend for themselves in finding a new house.

“This move would mean victims can regain agency over their own futures. Strong support systems, the creation of a destitution fund and robust domestic abuse policies might even give some people the confidence they need to leave abusive relationships.”

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