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Key duties

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Duties of local authorities to support victims of domestic abuse

Local authorities must assess, or arrange the assessment of, the need for accommodation-based support for victims of domestic abuse and their children (within the local authority’s area). This includes refuges and short-stay accommodation.

Local authorities should prepare, publish and implement a strategy for delivering support within their area. They should consult the domestic abuse local partnership board (details below) and other relevant bodies (including charities and the voluntary sector) when developing this strategy.

They should then monitor and evaluate the strategy’s effectiveness, and submit an annual report to the secretary of state on the support it has offered.

Reference: Section 57 of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021

Duty on Integrated Care Boards to plan to meet the needs of victims of abuse

An integrated care board and its partner NHS trusts and NHS foundation trusts must prepare a plan setting out how they propose to exercise their functions in the next five years.

The plan must set out any steps that the integrated care board proposes to take to address the particular needs of victims of abuse (including domestic abuse and sexual abuse, whether of children or adults).

Reference: Section 14Z52 of The National Health Service Act 2006 (as amended by the Health and Care Act 2022)

Domestic abuse local partnership boards

Local authorities must appoint a domestic abuse local partnership board to advise them on their support to victims of domestic abuse including accommodation-based support, and the provision of other local authority support.

This board must include people representing the interests of:

  • the relevant local authorities
  • victims
  • the children of victims
  • domestic abuse charities or voluntary organisations
  • health care providers
  • the police or other criminal justice agencies.

Reference: Section 58 of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021

The key statutory guidance is revised regularly by the secretary of state.

Reference: Delivery of support to victims of domestic abuse in domestic abuse safe accommodation services

Last reviewed: 15 June 2022

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Safeguarding people at risk of domestic abuse

  1. Overview
  2. Legal definition of domestic abuse
  3. Key duties

This page was last reviewed for accuracy on 15 June 2022

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