A housing provider has been recognised as a ‘beacon of good practice’ for its work to improve and save the lives of domestic abuse victims.
The Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance has awarded County Durham-based believe housing DAHA accreditation for a second consecutive time.
DAHA accreditation is the UK benchmark for how housing providers should take a stand to deliver safe and effective responses to domestic abuse.
To achieve accreditation, believe housing had to meet standards in eight priority areas including policy and procedures, staff development and support, survivor-led support, and perpetrator accountability.
A thorough assessment included interviews with employees and partner practitioners and a review of working practices.
The panel was impressed by believe housing’s support for both customers and employees and its response to the number of cases reported, which continues to rise on the back of the Covid pandemic and cost-of-living crisis.
A new Urgent Support Team is helping to meet demand and provide tailored support to those experiencing multiple disadvantages.
And an innovative suicide support network of trained employees, who volunteered to help people struggling with mental health concerns during the pandemic, continues to support those expressing suicidal thoughts.
A DAHA spokesperson said: “To see the passion with which this project has been led has been inspiring.
“We know the dedication, commitment, and hard work it takes to adopt and then embed standards of good practice and the success here is so well deserved.
“By undertaking this work, we know that lives of victims and survivors will have been improved and in fact saved.
“believe housing can be considered a beacon of good practice around domestic abuse in the north east.”
Sam Humble, Assistant Director of Neighbourhoods at believe housing, said: “We are incredibly proud of achieving DAHA accreditation, for a second time, which is down to a groupwide effort by our fantastic employees.
“A great deal of work and commitment goes into ensuring that believe housing does the right thing to support any person experiencing domestic abuse.
“We encourage colleagues to be aware of physical, emotional, economic, sexual abuse and neglect and to report any concerns.
“We can help people get the help and advice they need and work closely with partner agencies to ensure appropriate safeguards are put in place and that a victim’s rights and wishes are respected.”