The statistics for domestic abuse in the UK are truly shocking, in England and Wales, on average, seven women a month are killed by a current or former partner and one in four women and one in six men will experience domestic abuse.
At The Insurance Charities, we see people who have suffered domestic abuse apply to us for help. People who have fled their homes with nothing, leaving their jobs and families and rebuilding their lives from scratch to escape a violent partner or situation. We can often help these people financially re-build their lives and support them while they look for new employment, the mental scars, however, take much longer to heal.
We wanted to do more to intervene earlier and that is why we are sponsoring Business in the Community (BITC) and Public Health England (PHE) to create a domestic abuse toolkit for employers that consolidates the best evidence, employer practice and aligned with freely available resources. Domestic abuse can affect an employee’s performance with increased absences, deterioration of performance and isolation. It can also occur in the workplace, it doesn’t always happen at home.
By making employers aware of the signs someone may be suffering from abuse they can take action. A safe and supportive workplace makes it much easier for a victim to talk about any issues. Having policies and procedures in place, training for line managers and HR staff and raising awareness of the issue in the workplace will make it clear what to do if someone is a victim of abuse either at home or at work.
This toolkit will help employers support both the victims and the perpetrators of domestic abuse. We believe this is really important as we want to help victims while supporting people in their choice not to continue this cycle.
Elizabeth Filkin, Chair, The Employers’ Initiative on Domestic Abuse, said:
It’s wonderful to have the support of the Insurance Charities in helping break the wall of silence that surrounds domestic abuse in the workplace.
Louise Aston, Wellbeing Director at BITC, said:
The toolkit will help break down the barriers that the majority of employers currently face by promoting the compelling business and moral case with practical actions all employers can take around this challenging and taboo topic.
The toolkit is due to be launched summer 2018 and will be made available to all insurance employers before being offered to all employers.