Spotlight #5: Homelessness and domestic abuse



What the data tells us

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What you can expect

Our fifth Spotlight focuses on victims and survivors of domestic abuse who are homeless. We’ll be looking at the additional risks they face and the difficulties they have in accessing support.

We will be sharing blogs and podcasts from a range of voices. As well as our featured experts, we want to hear from you – we need your views, experiences and practice tips, so join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #SafeAtHome and get involved on the SafeLives Community.

You'll find new content every week – so bookmark this page for the latest updates, subscribe to our practice blog, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook to stay in the loop.

The report


We've pulled together our findings from this Spotlight series into a report, which highlights the key changes we need to see in order to keep more survivors safe in their own homes.

Read the report: Safe at home

Read the accompanying guidance for practitioners

If you would like to reference this report, please use the following: SafeLives (2018) Safe at Home: Homelessness and domestic abuse.


On Tuesday 22nd August, we hosted a webinar with Gudrun Burnet, Senior Business Partner at Peabody Housing Association and co-founder of the Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA). Sign into the SafeLives Community to watch the recording and join in the forum discussion.


Tee Falcone, Ambassador for Woman's Trust and St Mungo's: 'The journey I've walked'  – empowering victims of domestic abuse and homelessness

Margi Isaac, Founding member of VOICES: 'Housing experiences of a domestic abuse overcomer'

Lisa Raftery, London Development Manager at Homeless Link: Why a Gendered Approach to Supporting Women Experiencing Homelessness with Histories of Violence is Vital

Claire Karslake, Housing Idva at Splitz: The unique and vital role of the Housing Idva

Karen Clark, Service Manager at 1625 Independent People: When a house is not a home – young people and domestic abuse

Katherine Sacks-Jones, Director of Agenda: Motherhood, homelessness and abuse: the importance of a gendered approach

Anna Smith, CEO of One25: Homelessness and abuse amongst street sex-working women in Bristol 

Paula Maycock and Sarah Parker, Trinity College Dublin: Youth homelessness and its intersection with domestic abuse

Matt Downie, Director of Policy and External Affairs at Crisis: Homelessness for domestic abuse survivors can and must be prevented

Kelly Henderson, Business Manager (Domestic Abuse) at Gentoo Group housing association: The impact of moving or staying put on the recovery of women experiencing domestic abuse 

Shigufta Khan, CEO Blackburn and Darwen District Without Abuse: Reflections of a refuge worker: forced marriage, ‘honour’-based abuse and homelessness


Deidre talks to Louisa Steele from Standing Together Against Domestic Violence, about why considering multiple disadvantages is key to supporting women who have experienced domestic abuse and homelessness, and how the Housing First model offers a new way of supporting women and men who are chronically homeless.

Download the transcript

Deidre has met with Dr. Lucy Allwright from Against Violence and Abuse (AVA). Lucy shares the insights she’s gained from speaking to homeless survivors of domestic abuse, and some of the vital changes that we must make to better support the women who are often hidden from services.

Download the transcript

Aisha Sharif from Standing Together Against Domestic Violence talks about the pivotal role social housing providers play in identifying and responding to domestic abuse, and how the Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance ensures that all housing providers can support victims and survivors of domestic abuse.

Download the transcript

Deidre speaks to Aly Vernon, Chlidren’s Specialist at Survive in South Gloucestershire, about the combined effects of homelessness and domestic abuse on children. Aly and Deidre discuss what we can do as professionals to create a whole family approach to homelessness and domestic abuse for children, parents and perpetrators.

Download the transcript

Deidre speaks to Amanda Bloxsome, Services Manager for Threshold’s Housing First. Amanda talks about how Theshold has used the Housing First model to successfully support women with offending histories who are experiencing homelessness. She also talks about how each woman’s experience of homelessness and offending history links to experiences of domestic abuse. 

Download the transcript

Judith talks to Jane Anderson, Services Manager for Housing Choice in Swinton. In her interview, Jane provides vital information and guidance for practitioners to effectively advocate for their clients when seeking housing support.

Download the transcript

Deidre talks to Lucy Watson from Fulfilling Lives. In the interview, Lucy talks about the need for a system change: adapting the way we work with victims and survivors of domestic abuse who have multiple and complex needs. 

Download the transcript

Deidre speaks to Joan Coulton from Basis, a Yorkshire based charity working with adult women who are sex working. Joan talks about the additional barriers and challenges these women can face and how the Housing First model can help to address some of those challenges.

Download the transcript


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