Imagine you are experiencing abuse at home and your only safe haven is your workplace. You might be able to disclose what is happening to a trusted colleague or through a confidential support system - but that’s assuming they even exist.
So what happens when there is no informed safeguarding systems in place? It’s not only failing the needs of vulnerable individuals, but it’s also just bad business. Did you know that domestic abuse costs UK businesses an estimated £2.7 billion a year in productivity, concentration, absences and staff turnover? There are also serious risks to consider – research by the TUC (2014) found that 80% of survivors reported being harassed by their perpetrator at work, 90% reported an impact on co-workers, and 1 in 4 reported direct harm or threats against colleagues. Furthermore, 1 in 3 survivors will disclose abuse to a colleague or manager. However, 90% of our survivors surveyed stated their workplaces had no policies or procedures in place to support them.
Our understanding of domestic abuse is changing. Where once we shied away from interfering in people’s personal affairs, we now understand that we as society must stand together against domestic abuse. Where once we assumed a clear separation between work life and personal life, we now understand how much one impacts on and intersects with the other. Where once organisations only thought of their employees’ occupational health, it's a welcome change to see wellbeing teams now well established across sectors.
So what can organisations do? They can conduct risk assessments, provide flexible and paid time off to deal with court dates, counselling appointments or any other reason related to the emotional strain of experiencing abuse. They can undergo proper training to ensure that survivors feel comfortable disclosing to their employer because of the stigma that is associated with experiencing abuse, the fear of being judged, and the fear of being perceived and defined solely as a ‘victim,’ rather than a survivor. This is where we come in.
Our training helps organisations develop their response to survivors of abuse. Through raising awareness and understanding, and sharing strategies for recognising and responding to domestic abuse, we help organisations walk away with practical strategies to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their staff.
Want to find out more? Contact Carrie at [email protected] to find out how our training can help you and your organisation create safer futures, free from violence and abuse.