Domestic Abuse can be violence or the threat of violence or verbal, physical or psychological abuse.
Does your partner demand to know where you have been, what you have been doing, who you have been talking to?
Does your partner stop you seeing friends and family?
Are you afraid of your partner?
Does your partner hit, punch, shove, slap, kick, bite, spit or threaten you or your children?
Does your partner constantly criticise you or your abilities as a partner or parent?
Does your partner threaten consequences if you don’t do what they want?
Does your partner threaten you with legal sanctions, such as taking custody of the children?
Does your partner threaten you with violence, or themselves with harm if you leave?
If you answered 'yes' to any of these questions, you may be in an abusive relationship.
It is important to know that you are not alone, and that there are many services that can help you.
What is a Sanctuary Scheme
Our Sanctuary Scheme aims to help people that have experienced domestic abuse to remain in their own homes and feel safe. This is done by providing extra security so it is more difficult for unwanted visitors to gain access. The scheme is funded by us, so you wont need to pay anything.
What can the Sanctuary Scheme provide
The scheme is made to fit the needs of the individual. It offers extra security measures to your home and support from agencies. The security measures include;
Extra locks for windows and doors
Stronger, fireproof doors
Better security lighting
A sanctuary room you can go to and wait for help from the police
Who is eligible for the scheme
The scheme is available to anyone living in Maidstone who is, or could become, homeless because of domestic abuse or hate crime. It is available to homeowners, housing association tenants and people who rent their property privately. If you rent privately, you will need permission from your landlord for the work to take place. If you own or rent your property with the abuser, you will need to seek legal advice. No work can be carried out on a property if the abuser has a legal right to live there.
How does it work
If you are concerned for your safety you can contact our Community Safety Housing Officer by emailing CommunitySafety@maidstone.gov.uk. The officer will assess your housing needs and if it is agreed that the scheme can help you, we will arrange to visit your home with a security contractor to assess the security changes needed. We aim to complete the improvements within 48 hours of the first visit, which will include showing you how to use the items fitted. You will be asked to complete a form so we can make sure that you were happy with the service.
Benefits of the scheme
No need to move house
No need to transfer children to another school
No need to change doctors, dentists or other services
All referrals are directed to our Community Safety Housing Officer who will contact the victim and check that the sanctuary criteria are met. If they are met, a security survey is carried out to assess the need for sanctuary measures. The landlord of the property is then contacted to gain permission to do the work. Then, subject to budget, we place the order for the work with the approved contractor. Finally, the contractor installs the security measures, and the police update their computer system to inform officers of the sanctuary.
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