People fleeing violent relationships in Wakefield 'doubled' in June

Domestic abuse forced more than 60 people in Wakefield to make a homelessness application in just one month.

Monday, 28th September 2020, 4:45 pm

The number of those trying to flee their properties because of violent relationships doubled during June, Wakefield Council said.

A total of 63 victims applied to the local authority's housing needs service for help during the month.

National lockdown was still in place at the start of June, with restrictions only easing around the middle of the month when non-essential shops were allowed to reopen.

The number of applications to the housing needs service citing domestic violence doubled from May to June.

The figures reflect a national surge in domestic abuse reports during lockdown, while local charity the Rosalie Ryrie Foundation said in July they'd seen a huge spike in demand for their services.

In a report going before a full council meeting on Wednesday, the local authority's Cabinet member for health, Faith Heptinstall, said: "There was an increase in homeless applications due to domestic abuse and violent relationship breakdown during the lockdown period.

"These peaked between April and June 2020 when the Housing Needs Service received 63 applications which was approximately double the figure in the previous three months."

Coun Heptinstall said that people leaving homes they shared with family and friends after a fallout was the most common reason people have lost accommodation since January.

People who are "single and childless" have been worst affected, she said.

Although family homelessness did not increase in Wakefield during lockdown, that's been attributed to the government's ban on evictions, which ended earlier this month.

Local Democracy Reporting Service