Important Supreme Court Decision on Yemshaw v Hounslow

Yesterday, the Supreme Court made a landmark judgment in relation to victims of abuse seeking to be rehoused under the 1996 Housing Act.  In contrast to an earlier decision in 2002 (Danesh v RBK&C) the court held that “domestic violence” in s. 177(1) of the 1996 Act includes physical violence, threatening or intimidating behaviour and any other form of abuse which, directly or indirectly, may give rise to the risk of harm. (My emphasis).  Please take note all IDVAs!

5 Comments to “Important Supreme Court Decision on Yemshaw v Hounslow”

  1. IDVAs around the UK will be rejoicing at this news! Sadly not everyone seems to agree with this judgment. I’ve just read an article by Eleanor Mills (pg 4) in the News Review section of The Sunday Times and my blood is boiling! She seems to think that widening the definition of domestic violence is going to lead to a “wave” of all unhappily married women and men to demand the council gives them a new home as the definition is so broad it means that “marital quarrelling” a la “you filled the dishwasher incorrectly” means you have a valid argument to be re-housed. It is even more astonishing that she disagrees because she outlines the story which led up to this judgment – an Ethiopian woman named Yemshaw who said her husband shouted at her in front of her children, failed to treat her like a ‘human’ and didn’t give her housekeeping money was denied housing and with the help of Women’s Aid brought it to the Supreme Court – yet she thinks calling this domestic abuse is ‘lunacy’! Surely not being treated like a human made her think twice? I also like (sarcasm here…) her choice of “housekeeping money” to downplay what was referred to in the background to the judgment as “financially controlling”. This writer has clearly never met a domestic violence victim such as Yemshaw. Maybe she should spend a day at an IDVA service and we can give her the job of telling the victims that Housing doesn’t think they are at risk so, sorry, you have to live with your abusive partner until he hits you. Now this is lunacy!

  2. Haha! Loved it!

  3. This is excellent news for victims – Have blood about the same temperature as yours Jill after I read the article too! Perhaps we could do a feature of it in our next CAADA enews or some kind of circular to services so that IDVAs are aware of the new definition?

  4. I will hand that idea over to the e-news wizards….

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