Charity has launched a new line of advice for businesses to support employees exposed to or threatened by domestic violence
We spent more time at home this year than ever before. Associated with this, unemployment, financial insecurity, anxiety, and stress have been widespread – all conditions known to exacerbate domestic violence.
Yes, the lockdown has shown that homes are not always safe for everyone, and with many people still working remotely due to COVID-19, domestic violence incidents are on the rise.
It is believed that one in four women and one in six men will experience domestic abuse at some point in their life. With over 2.4 million people experiencing domestic violence each year, there is no denying that businesses can play an important role in helping victims of abuse.
Even so, it can be difficult for employers to spot the signs and provide support to those experiencing domestic abuse in their organization. While 86% of employers agree that they have a duty of care to support workers experiencing domestic abuse, fewer than one in three victims identify abuse at work, citing “shame” and “privacy” as barriers.
Not only does this endanger employees, it is also costly to employers – at over £ 14 billion a year when measured on the basis of decreased employee productivity and lost production due to lost work.
Elizabeth Filkin, Chair of the Employers’ Domestic Abuse Initiative, said, “Domestic abuse is everyone’s business, and businesses play a vital role in helping those affected. But COVID-19 and lockdown have made it harder for businesses to know how theirs are doing Employees, and with full return to the office unlikely, knowing what to do when domestic abuse is suspected is not always easy. “
The crisis relief charity Hestia is now trying to close the communication gap between workers and their employers. The charity launched the Everybody’s Business program to increase awareness and support in the workplace.
One of the inestimable resources of the program is The Everybody’s Business Advice Line, a single point of contact for businesses to help them understand how to disclose domestic abuse by their employees, particularly with regards to COVID-19. They are also given advice so that they can send staff to specialized domestic violence services.
Employers seeking advice can call or email 07770480437 adviceline.EB@hestia.org Monday to Friday between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. for support.
Today we’re launching the #EveryonesBusiness Advice Line, a new resource for employers that will provide advice on how to effectively respond to domestic abuse disclosures by their employees.
We know companies save lives when they take action.
Read more: https://t.co/Sm45i9S7TD pic.twitter.com/BxCSXBeONo
– Hestia (@ Hestia1970) September 3, 2020
Lyndsey Dearlove, Head of Business Advice Line at Hestia, said, “Lockdown has left victims isolated from their abusers and often unable to seek support. Now that more people are returning to work, employers play a unique role in breaking the silence about domestic violence.
“By providing a free line of advice that provides advice, employers can help their employees and direct them for practical assistance. When employers take action and respond to domestic violence, we know it saves lives. Domestic violence has been nobody’s business for too long, and it is time it became everyone’s business. “
Get help and support for domestic violence
If you need help or are concerned about someone else, you can refer to the following resources.
Remember, you don’t have to wait for an emergency to find help. If domestic abuse happens to you, it is important to tell someone and remind yourself that you are not alone.
- Call the 24-hour domestic abuse hotline toll free on 0808 2000 247.
- E-mail to Frauenhilfe at email@example.com. When sending an email, it is very important that you indicate when and if the reply is safe and to which email address to protect yourself.
- Call the men’s advice service on 0808 801 0327.
- Download Bright Sky. This free mobile app provides support and information for anyone who is in an abusive relationship or is concerned about someone they know.
- Many pharmacies have safe areas where you can get support information and make calls. On the UK Says No More website, find a pharmacy near you that has safe rooms.