Figures released by the Office of National Statistics in March 2016 revealed that in England and Wales, 4.5 million women and 2.2 million men said they had been a victim of domestic abuse since the age of 16. However, only about 1 in 5 people who had been abused by a partner ever contacted the police.

In Barnet, the vital support victims of domestic violence need came in the form of a 6-bed refuge in the borough launched by Barnet Homes in 2015, with partners including Solace Women’s Aid, funded by Barnet Council.

Since the opening of Minerva House, 21 women and 31 children have been accommodated at the refuge. Housing Options, Barnet Homes’ homelessness service, has helped 77% of Minerva House residents to move on to suitable, longer-term accommodation.

This is why Barnet Homes is delighted to officially announce that its refuge is the recipient of 100k worth of funding from the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

Barnet Homes’ Housing Options Team (pictured above) led on a funding application for Barnet Council to submit to the DCLG to sustain Minerva House until 31 March 2018.

Run in partnership with Solace Women’s Aid, Minerva House provides 6 adult bed-spaces and 10 children’s bed spaces for women fleeing domestic violence from any geographical area, and from any  background. The funding will maintain these bed spaces, and will enable Barnet Homes and Solace Women’s Aid to better support victims with specialist and complex needs.

When residents are ready to move on, they receive 1-2-1 support from Housing Options’ let2barnet service. Barnet Homes also supports victims and those at risk of domestic violence through the Barnet Sanctuary Scheme, and through the Domestic Violence and Abuse One Stop Shop – which runs every Thursday morning at Barnet House.