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Introducing DARS

As part of MOPAC’s ‘London’s Police and Crime Plan 2022-2025’, we’ve been funded to provide advice, advocacy and resettlement support to LGBTQ+ survivors of domestic abuse who have fled abuse and are currently in intermediate safe accommodation.

Our Domestic Abuse Resettlement Service (DARS) will enable us to support LGBTQ+ people who have fled abuse and work to ensure they get settled and established in their new homes. This is a proven way of reducing the likelihood of survivors returning to their abusers.

We know that leaving an abusive partner can put a survivor at risk of violence, stalking, psychological torment or even homicide. That’s why leaving an abuser is rarely a split-second decision, but rather a well-coordinated effort. Our experience shows us that people who have fled abuse and are now living in safe accommodation often need support with things like independent living skills or applying for injunctions. That’s why this service is so necessary.

We’ll offer face-to-face housing assessments with a dedicated Advice and Advocacy worker, as well as face-to-face resettlement support by specialised resettlement workers. This service will support survivors aged 16+ who live anywhere in London.

All of our services are delivered through the queer lens – that’s one of the ways we’re so different to mainstream organisations. Additionally, all of our staff have extensive experience working with people who have survived trauma and abuse, and they’ve additionally been trained in domestic abuse and housing legislation. We provide person-centred, holistic and trauma-informed support, in order to build long-lasting independence and resilience.

Domestic abuse referrals at Stonewall Housing have rocketed these past few years – which is why this new service will be a crucial element of our services delivery.

“By the end of the first quarter, we reached 160% of our target, which proves beyond doubt that there is a huge need for specialised longer term support for LGBTQ+ survivors of domestic abuse, in order for them to be able to successfully rebuild their lives with resilience.”

Kay, our DARS Service Manager