Is your business domestic abuse aware?

Sunday (November 25) was White Ribbon Day, also known as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

It was also the start of the 16 Days of Action Against Domestic Violence.*

The 16 days campaign, as organised by the Corporate Alliance and supported by Public Health England, is aimed at businesses, particularly targeting the ones that have nothing in place to help or support employees affected by domestic abuse.

As most people are aware, domestic abuse is violent or aggressive behaviour used to intimidate and control a person.

It is important to remember that is not always physical, it does not have to occur in the home, and it does not only concern romantically linked partners. It could be mother to daughter or son to mother, it could be happening closer than you think, perhaps to a work colleague.

Domestic violence has an enormous impact on the physical and mental health of the person suffering. The impact of physical violence is obvious and easy to see, but abuse is often one of the main factors associated with mental health issues.

Depression, anxiety, sleep deprivation, and self-harm are just some of the terrible effects it is known to cause and which, of course, impact on one’s ability to work well.

Any business that thinks it is not affected, should look at the figures:

  • 25% of women are affected by domestic violence during their adult lifetimes;
  • 16% of men are affected by domestic violence during their adult lifetimes;
  • 75% of people who endure domestic violence are targeted at work;
  • 58% of abused women miss at least three days of work a month;
  • The cost of domestic abuse to businesses is estimated at £1.9bn a year due to decreased productivity, time off work, lost wages and sick pay;
  • Only 5% of organisations have a specific policy or guidelines in place.

Even companies that do have a domestic abuse policy could probably do more to deal with this large-scale problem. Actions could include raising awareness of your policy via conversations and training that help managers and other members of staff to understand how they can offer or seek help.

Broxtowe Women’s Project can help businesses in the area in several ways:

  • Provide you with leaflets and information to have in the workplace
  • Provide you with short awareness sessions so your business is better equipped to support your workforce
  • You can contact us for confidential support, information or signposting
  • Female employees can call us directly for confidential support or information.
  • We can signpost male employees experiencing abuse.

We can work together to get the best outcomes for women and your business. Our services are completely confidential.

To find out more please contact us using enquiries@broxtowewp.org or by calling 01773 718555.

* From 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign is a time to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world. The international campaign originated from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute coordinated by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership in 1991.