Moves to prevent homelessness for people experiencing domestic abuse in Fife

womens aid reportFife Housing Partnership has welcomed recommendations on how to improve the health and wellbeing of women and children who have experienced homelessness as a result of domestic or sexual abuse.

The Women’s Health Improvement Research Project, a community led participatory action research project based in Fife, was by developed as a partnership between Fife Violence Against Women Partnership and Scottish Women’s Aid.

Women with experience of homelessness as a result of domestic or sexual abuse were invited to become involved in the project through support agencies and organisations. These women developed the research questions, designed the research methods, analysed the findings and co-produced the research report.

Cllr Judy Hamilton, executive committee member and chair of Fife Housing Partnership, said: “Fife is leading the way on improving the future delivery of services to women affected by domestic and / or sexual abuse and all forms of violence. We have listened and learned from people experiencing these situations.

“They have been part of a research project that researched the issues faced by women and identified problems in systems. We have encouraged them to work with us to not only identify the problems they face but also to be part of the solutions, through a commission set up across services and with community researchers.

“From the commission we have a vision statement committing the Fife Housing Partnership to ensure that there is strong leadership and accountability to improving the standards of service to women affected by domestic and/or sexual abuse, or any form of violence against women; and an improvement plan that looks at how we can take these solutions forward.

“Our community researchers met with Housing Minister, Kevin Stewart MSP, who described their work as pioneering - and will be watching with interest as we in Fife Housing Partnership develop this work; and how we continue to involve service users in our research and findings.”

Kathryn Sharp, Independent Chair, said: “I have been impressed by the commitment of The Fife Housing Partnership and Fife Violence Against Women Partnership to improving responses to the housing needs of women affected by domestic and sexual abuse.

“Staff from across the Partnerships have listened to the very challenging messages within the Change, Justice, Fairness report and have taken seriously their responsibility to respond. This has led to the agreement of a comprehensive action plan that will support local partners to improve services, and outcomes for women, children and young people affected by domestic and sexual abuse.

“The involvement of the Community Research Team in this process has been invaluable; as well as undertaking the initial research they have continuously challenged us to provide the best possible response to women and children in Fife.”

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