Borders RSLs team up to tackle domestic abuse

Borders RSLs team up to tackle domestic abuse

(from left) Nile Istephan, Michelle Meldrum, Julia Mulloy, Fraser Kelly and Callum Chomczuk

The four Borders-based Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) that make up the Borders Housing Network have signed a joint pledge to take decisive action against domestic abuse.

The chief executives of Berwickshire, Eildon, Scottish Borders, and Waverley met on 21 November to restate their commitment to the ‘Make a Stand’ pledge which was developed a couple of years ago by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) in partnership with Women’s Aid and the Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance.

There are four key commitments which pledges each RSL to:

  1. Develop and implement a policy for staff
  2. Develop and implement a policy for tenants
  3. Make information about national and local domestic abuse support services available on their websites and other appropriate places
  4. Appoint a domestic abuse champion at a senior level

The first joint piece of work has been to create a unified Domestic Abuse Policy for staff. During October, nearly 300 colleagues from the four organisations were trained on the new policy. The training was delivered by SafeLives who are experts in this field. A joint improvement plan has been developed to progress the other three commitments within the pledge.

Berwickshire Housing Association chief executive Michelle Meldrum said: “Domestic abuse affects people from all walks of life. As responsible employers and organisations who provide front-line services to customers living in c.12,000 homes across the Scottish Borders, we want to make sure that we are playing our part in addressing this issue. As housing providers, we are ideally placed to spot the signs of domestic abuse and work with other agencies to support those impacted.”

Callum Chomczuk, national director of CIH Scotland, added: “I am delighted to see the members of the Borders Housing Network refresh their commitment to the CIH Make a Stand Pledge. I would encourage other housing providers to do the same and share their commitment and approach. As a sector, if we work together to tackle domestic abuse, we can make a huge difference.”

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