Victims of domestic abuse who refuse to go into refuges have been classed as intentionally homeless by Welsh councils, according to the country’s social justice minister.
Women’s choices are also being restricted because they are being referred to local Welsh Women’s Aid (WWA) groups against their wishes, Edwina Hart said last week.
Presenting a report to the assembly’s social justice and regeneration committee, she said there was inconsistency in the way councils dealt with victims of domestic abuse.
The report, based on council responses and evidence from WWA groups, says councils “strive to provide a responsive and sympathetic service” but are being undermined by a lack of training and large workloads.
Tracey Sutton, WWA’s national housing co-ordinator, called for specific guidance on housing for victims of domestic abuse, pointing out that current guidance was contained in a larger document on homelessness.
She also said some councils were not taking full account of the current guidance despite it being statutory.