HUNDREDS of people were pushed into homelessness due to domestic abuse during the pandemic across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, figures reveal.

A spike in such cases nationally has been branded “shocking” by domestic abuse charities, which are calling for more funding to help survivors.

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government data shows in the year to March, BCP Council found 162 households had become homeless, while 42 needed help to prevent them from losing their home because of domestic abuse.

It means a total of 204 families needed housing help because of domestic abuse – one fewer than the previous year.

Across England, councils received 31,180 requests for help from households who had lost their accommodation or were threatened with homelessness due to domestic abuse in 2020-21 – a 17 per cent increase on the year before.

Of those, almost half were households with children.

Councillor May Haines, portfolio holder for community safety said: “Our aspiration is that no resident living within or visiting Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole should live in fear of, or experience domestic abuse. To achieve this aim, we are a key partner within the BCP Community Safety Partnership, which includes police, fire & rescue, health and care sectors and have worked together to develop a dedicated Domestic Abuse Strategy.

“The strategy has been supported by a vast range of agencies, who have also committed to a comprehensive action plan which details the activity we will undertake to prevent violence and abuse; the provision of effective services for all clients; a commitment to work collaboratively and responding to perpetrators including challenging and changing behaviours.”

Councillor Hazel Allen, Lead member for Homelessness said: “We are committed to supporting our residents who are victims of domestic abuse.

“As part of BCP Council’s commitment to preventing and tackling the harm caused by domestic abuse, the council commissioned a dedicated BCP wide domestic abuse outreach service. The independent service operated by BCHA supports clients by providing practical and emotional support, along with safety planning advice which provides clients with information on a wide range of issues which are all aimed at keeping them safe and includes information on accessing safe accommodation. The service offers a 24 hour helpline 01202 710777.”

The Government said it was spending an "unprecedented" £750 million on tackling rough sleeping and homelessness and that the MHCLG figures showed a 7.3 per cent drop in families needing support from homelessness services in the year to March.