Organisations across Merseyside are being encouraged to help break the cycle of domestic abuse by joining a new scheme which will equip employers with the skills to help support their staff.
Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy has launched the Merseyside Domestic Abuse Workplace scheme in partnership with Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram.
The initiative has been launched to give employers the tools, resources and training to respond when a member of staff is at risk of domestic abuse. This includes helping employers to provide a safe space where staff affected by domestic abuse can talk confidentially, via a network of trained volunteer ‘Champions,’ who will ensure vulnerable colleagues are signposted to support when they need it most.
Businesses that sign up to the initiative will have designated members of staff who volunteer to become ‘Workplace Champions’ helping to spot the signs of possible abuse and providing advice, offer support and ensure victims are directed to outreach workers or specialist support where needed.
Jane Kennedy said:
“Domestic Abuse has a profound effect on families at home, but it also costs businesses £1.9billion every year in decreased productivity, time off work and sick pay.
“Domestic abuse is everyone’s business and that’s why I am encouraging employers – small and large, public and private – to sign up to join this initiative. For some people, work may be the only safe place they have from abuse and violence and it is important that employers recognise and understand the hugely important role they can have in helping someone who may be suffering.
“By having a safe space within work, safe domestic abuse policies and properly trained ‘Champions’ who are able to listen and provide the right support and guidance to a vulnerable individual, that employer is in a unique position to potentially help a victim to take those all-important first steps in breaking the cycle of abuse.”
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region said:
“Domestic abuse is a devastating crime that affects millions of people in England and Wales each year but, all too often, it is a crime that goes unreported.
“The Workplace Champion Scheme will build upon some of the brilliant work being done across the region to raise awareness of domestic abuse and support victims, and survivors, to get the help they need.
“We hope that by giving employers the tools, resources and training to respond when a member of staff is at risk of domestic abuse we will be able to support vulnerable people in the work place.”