Conference aims to help more people live ‘Free From Fear’

Kathryn Edwards at podium

On Wednesday 11 July, Pobl and partner organisations held a Free From Fear conference in Newport to help other social housing landlords improve their response to domestic abuse for their residents.

The conference builds on experiences and learning from the Free From Fear project, established in 2015,  which sees a group of housing associations in the Gwent area working to combat domestic abuse and support tenants and employees who have been affected by it.

 The conference in Newport featured guest speakers including Julie James AM and the chief executive of Welsh Women’s Aid, Eleri Butler as well as the launch of a new web portal to support staff who work with people experiencing domestic abuse. Although this is initially focused on Gwent, it is a free resource that can be used by partners across Wales.

Bronwen Lloyd, director of community regeneration said: “As a partnership of 12 social landlords, we have developed an online resource for staff who work with people who are experiencing domestic abuse. 

“This multi-agency partnership approach is helping us to improve the lives and outcomes of people experiencing domestic abuse. The conference will allow partners to share best practice and network with like-minded professionals, with the overall aiming of helping anyone experiencing domestic abuse to live free from fear.”

Newport City Homes’ housing services manager Carolyn Prothero said: “No-one should have to suffer from domestic abuse. However, help is available to people who do.

“We are working with other social landlords across Gwent to help tackle this issue and this toolkit will help us and our partners to improve our responses to supporting victims.

“Free From Fear is based on the belief that no-one should live in fear of violence or abuse from a spouse, partner, former spouse or partner, or another member of their household.

“We will continue to direct victims and their families to the police and relevant professional support agencies. We will also continue to work in partnership with the police, Women’s Aid and other domestic abuse agencies.”

Free From Fear is helping to ensure:
• A sensitive, confidential, consistent and prompt response is provided to people suffering from abuse;
• The needs of victims are prioritised when responding to reports; and
• A flexible range of solutions are looked at to help victims of abuse to live in safety in their homes.

If you are experiencing domestic abuse, help and support is available 24 hours, seven days a week. Call 0808 8010 800 or visit the Live Fear Free website.