To mark International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, Women and Equalities Minister Helen Grant, will host an event to encourage business leaders to put plans in place to support staff experiencing domestic violence.
1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men are affected by domestic violence and abuse during their adult lives. Furthermore, domestic violence and abuse costs UK businesses in excess of £1.9 billion each year in lost economic output from injuries alone. So it’s crucially important that the workplace is somewhere that victims can seek help and support.
In June, the Department of Health launched a new responsibility deal pledge asking organisations to sign up to engage with staff about this issue, and to commit to provide help and support to those staff who need it. 20 major employers have so far made that commitment including British Airways and Wragg & Co.
This event, which will be attended by business and HR leaders, aims to encourage more employers to pledge their support to tackle this issue.
Helen Grant said:
“ Domestic violence is an appalling crime. It can have devastating consequences and can prevent many victims from getting ahead in life and progressing in the workplace.
“ The government is committed to tackling all forms of violence against a women and girls which is why we have provided up to £40 million in ring fenced funding, up until 2015, for specialist local support services sexual violence support services, rape crisis centres, the national domestic violence helplines and stalking helplines.
“ We want to help victims to get the best possible protection and support and the workplace is no exception to this. That’s why we are urging employers to commit to helping their staff spot the signs of abuse and to have plans in place to support employees who are facing abuse.”
Health Minister Lord Howe said:
“ Every year at least one million women experience at least one incident of domestic violence or abuse. This is unacceptable and we must do everything we can to tackle it.
“ It’s important to remember that many people experiencing domestic violence and abuse will be in employment and may well be targeted at work.
“ I hope this event will provide a greater understanding of domestic violence and abuse and provide employers with tools and guidance they can use to help support their staff.”
The event organised by the Government Equalities Office in partnership with the Department of Health and the Home Office aims to share best practice in supporting staff and will include experts on the subject of domestic violence who will be available to speak to those attending. Women’s Aid, Respect, Coordinated Action Against Domestic Abuse (CCADA), Corporate Alliance Against Domestic Violence (CAADV) and Stonewall Housing are also attending and will be there to provide advice and information about domestic abuse.