Abused Women Offered ‘Safe Rooms’

A new scheme aimed at protecting victims of domestic violence is set to be unveiled by ministers. The “sanctuary scheme” will provide money to create a room in which women can be secure within their own homes and be able to call the police.

{mosimage}Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly is to announce £74m will fund the provision of rooms equipped with alarms and CCTV. The aim is to give victims the confidence to remain in their own homes rather than flee to temporary housing.

The funding to be announced will be used by local authorities to provide safe rooms equipped with mortice locks, reinforced doors and security lights.

Addresses with safe rooms will be flagged up on police computers to ensure a swift response in the event of a violent incident.

Under the initiative, the rooms would only be set up at the request of the victim, and only if the violent partner no longer lived at the property. The scheme has already been operated on a trial basis in a number of local authorities.

Officials say that 90% of victims of domestic violence are in support of the move.