Agenda Item No. 4
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
HOMES AND SAFE COMMUNITIES SCRUTINY COMMITTEE: 11 JULY 2018
REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 18 JUNE 2018
C343 Landlord Service - Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Policy (HBS) (Scrutiny Committee - Homes and Safe Communities) -
Cabinet was advised to adopt the new Domestic Abuse Policy for the Council's Landlord Service and was advised of the Council's proposed response to incidents of Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (VAWDA-SV) in accordance with the new National Strategy 2016-2021.
On 20th October 2014 Cabinet approved a Landlord Service Domestic Abuse Policy (Cabinet Minute C2495). This set out the expected Housing response to reported incidents of domestic abuse.
Since that date, the Welsh Government introduced the Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Act (Wales) 2015 and launched the National Strategy on Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence in November 2016. The Landlord Service had therefore now produced a new VAWDA-SV Policy to comply with the updated legislation and Strategy.
VAWDA-SV could affect anyone at any time during their lives, with 1 in 4 women being affected by domestic abuse in their lifetimes. This meant that a significant number of those living within Council properties would be affected by abuse or even considered as perpetrators of domestic abuse. It was therefore essential that there was clear guidance in place detailing the approach the Council would take as a Landlord.
The Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 also introduced changes in how landlords could support victims of domestic abuse by allowing joint tenancies to be modified with greater ease, as well as enabling appropriate action to be taken against perpetrators. These changes were therefore also reflected in the new Landlord Services VAWDA-SV Policy attached at Appendix 1 to the report.
The new Landlord Services VAWDA-SV Policy outlined a range of options to support victims to either remain in their home safely or support them to seek alternative accommodation.
The Policy also reinforced the importance of joint working in relation to tackling domestic abuse. As well as supporting victims; this included referring victims into the Multi-agency Risk Assessment Meeting (MARAC) and to Atal Y Fro (the local domestic abuse support agency), Safer Vale and South Wales Police.
This was a matter for Executive decision
Cabinet, having considered the report and all the issues and implications contained therein
(1) T H A T the new Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Act Policy for the Council's Landlord Services attached at Appendix 1 to the report be adopted.
(2) T H A T the report and new Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Act Policy be referred to the Homes and Safe Communities Scrutiny Committee for information purposes.
Reasons for decisions
(1) To ensure compliance with the National Strategy on Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence and to provide clear guidelines to Housing staff so that the appropriate response is provided to any reported incidents.
(2) To ensure Members were aware of the new Landlord Services - Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Policy.
Attached as Appendix – Report to Cabinet – 18 JUNE 2018