Work may be the only safe place for someone experiencing domestic abuse or violence.
The Merseyside Domestic Abuse Workplace Scheme aims to encourage organisations to provide staff with a safe and secure working environment, creating safe spaces where staff affected by domestic abuse can talk in confidence.
By joining this important, free scheme you will be supported to establish a safe domestic abuse policy and guidelines, ensuring employees who are experiencing domestic abuse receive a safe and effective response.
Why does Domestic Abuse matter to my organisation?
The British Crime Survey estimates that one in four women and one in eight men will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime, therefore there is a strong chance that both victims and perpetrators of domestic abuse work in your organisation.
Domestic abuse is estimated to cost business £1.9bn a year. It is likely to affect your employees’ productivity, emotional and physical health and well-being. It can cause staff to take time off work and leads to absenteeism. Staff may also face the increased risk of workplace abuse or violence. It is therefore crucial that domestic abuse is seen as serious, recognisable, and preventable, and an important issue for business that cannot be ignored.
People experiencing domestic abuse may receive harassing or repeated phone calls or e-mails, unwelcome notes left on their cars or unplanned or unannounced visits at work. People may also be stalked, physically assaulted or murdered while at, or travelling to and from, work.
What is a Domestic Abuse Workplace Champion?
Domestic Abuse Champions are employees who volunteer to complete specialist training to spot the signs of domestic abuse. They will be fully equipped with the understanding, knowledge and skills to respond safely and appropriately, offer support and signpost victims to specialist support.
They offer support in their workplace to colleagues affected by domestic abuse.
By becoming a ‘Champion’ you will ensure appropriate information is available to offer support to colleagues at a time when they may need it the most. You will also provide a vital link between your organisation and the Champions’ Network, ensuring access to the most up to date training, policies and information on domestic abuse.
Roles and Responsibilities
- Complete five days of specialist training;
- Be a point of contact for your organisation for information relating to domestic violence and abuse;
- Be the safe ‘go-to’ person for any employee who wants to talk to someone about their situation or have concerns for a colleague;
- Listen in a supportive non-judgemental way to colleagues who are living with or perpetrating domestic abuse;
- Explain and explore measures that can be taken in the workplace to increase the individuals safety, agree a course of action and ensure what’s agreed is implemented;
- Advocate between employer and employee should the need arise;
- Keep accurate records of any disclosures made;
- Be fully aware of confidentiality;
- Raise awareness within the organisation and enhance the overall knowledge and understanding of domestic abuse;
- Ensure up to date and accessible information is available in relation to support services for victims;
- Ensure leaflets and posters are displayed in discrete locations around the workplace.
The Merseyside Domestic Abuse Champions' Network
The Champions’ Network is a confidential virtual platform which all Domestic Abuse Champions will have access to once they have successfully completed their training.
It will be used to share helpful information, experiences, ask questions, seek advice and peer support to ensure safe practice. Champions will also provide feedback and data on all aspects of the scheme and the role which will help develop and improve the scheme.
What is the time commitment?
Interested employees will have to attend up to five days domestic abuse training and a minimum of two other training/ network events per year required.
Adequate time must also be allowed for the Domestic Abuse Champion(s) to promote the scheme within your organisation as well as spending time with an employee who wants to speak out and seek support.
It is difficult to know how much time that will be, as each individual will be different. It is essential the employer is flexible and accommodating and the time needed will be negotiated between the Domestic Abuse Champion and their line manager
Joining Merseyside’s Domestic Abuse Workplace scheme is free for all organisations.
More information and signing up
If you would like any more information about the Domestic Abuse Workplace Scheme, please contact our office.
Once an organisation is signed up, the nominated contact will receive an Employer’s Guide, Toolkit including a Domestic Abuse Policy and information and promotional materials to share within your organisation and with interested employees about the role of Domestic Abuse Workplace Champions.
Employees interested in becoming ‘Domestic Abuse ‘Workplace Champions’ will be contacted to begin the process of assessment and recruitment.