Knowsley organisations urged to help break the cycle of domestic abuse

Merseyside / November 26

Employers in Knowsley are being invited to find out more about a free scheme aimed at breaking the cycle of domestic abuse at a special event being hosted this week.

The Merseyside Domestic Abuse Workplace scheme was launched by the region’s Police and Crime Commissioner in April with the aim of equipping employers with the skills, knowledge and resources to support staff affected by domestic abuse. The scheme aims to create a network of volunteer domestic abuse ‘Workplace Champions’ who are trained to spot the signs and support colleagues to get help.

Now, as the region marks a 16 day campaign to raise awareness of violence against women and girls, the Commissioner, Jane Kennedy, is uniting with Knowsley Council to host a special event encouraging organisations across the Borough to join the free scheme.

The event, being held at 2pm on Friday 29th November in The Venue in Huyton, will give employers the chance to get an overview of the scheme, find out about the benefits of joining and hear from existing members to find out how it works in reality.

Organisations which sign up to the scheme will be given the tools, resources and training to respond when a member of staff is at risk of domestic abuse. This includes a free five day training course for members of staff who volunteer to become ‘Workplace Champions’ which will equip them with the skills to spot the signs of possible abuse and provide advice, offer support and ensure victims are directed to outreach workers or specialist support where needed.

Business will also be assisted to provide a safe space where staff affected by domestic abuse can talk confidentially and will receive a toolkit and materials to promote the scheme within their offices.

Jane said: “Domestic Abuse has a profound effect on individuals and families at home, but it also costs businesses £1.9billion every year in decreased productivity, time off work and sick pay.

“As we mark the UN’s 16 day campaign aimed at eliminating violence against women and girls, I am delighted to be joining forces with Knowsley Council to encourage businesses, small and large, public and private, to show their commitment to their staff and sign up to this initiative.

“For some people, work may be the only safe place they have, free 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.

“I would encourage employers who are committed to staff welfare and well-being and who are interested in finding out more, to register to attend this event.”

John Flaherty, Executive Director (Communities and Neighbourhoods), Knowsley Council, said: “Building safer communities in our borough is a key priority for Knowsley Council. This is a fantastic opportunity for our local organisations and businesses to learn skills that will support our residents who may be victims/survivors of domestic abuse and help break the cycle. We’re delighted to be working in collaboration with the Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner to deliver this initiative.”

Please RSVP to attend this event by emailing [email protected] with the names and organisation of the people attending.

To sign up to the scheme, please click here or for more information, please contact the Scheme Coordinator Malka Livingstone on 0151 777 5155 or by emailing here.