In 2017 we launched our Shared Lives domestic abuse pilot, in partnership with national domestic abuse charity SafeLives, funded by Department of Culture, Media and Sport’s Tampon Tax. In the pilot, schemes supported disabled and non-disabled women who had experienced domestic abuse to stay with a Shared Lives host, as an alternative to, or as move-on from refuge. The pilot work left us with a legacy of training, practice guidance and inclusive resources, to support survivors of domestic abuse with a wide spectrum of support needs.
The new Domestic Abuse Act places a statutory duty on tier one local authorities to support victims of domestic abuse and their children residing within refuges and other safe accommodation. Local authorities are now preparing to deliver the new Act locally and specify how they will source appropriate safe accommodation in their area, including options options for people for whom refuge services are not suitable.
A potential minimum of 15.5% survivors referred to refuges could benefit from Shared Lives supporting disabled and non-disabled survivors of domestic abuse:
 Women’s Aid (2021) The Domestic Abuse Report 2021: The Annual Audit, Bristol: Women’s Aid.
We want to work with local authority domestic abuse partnership boards and Shared Lives schemes to offer victims who may not otherwise be supported, safe accommodation and work with partners to offer specialist support.
Read more about Shared Lives schemes’ domestic abuse work
Below is our briefing for heads of service and commissioners, and our pilot report.
If you are experiencing domestic abuse and you would like help, you can Freephone 24-Hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247
or visit www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk (access live chat Mon-Fri 3-10pm)