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 is launching the Merseyside Domestic Abuse Workplace scheme in partnership with the region’s Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram, at an event at his offices in Mann Island on Thursday (11th April 2019).
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 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.
"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."
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."
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
More information and signing up
Get started by filling in this SIGN ME UP FORM
Alternatively, if you have any more questions, please contact our Scheme Coordinator Malka Livingstone by calling 0151 777 5155 or by emailing here.
Once you are 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.
Joining Merseyside’s Domestic Abuse Workplace scheme is free for all organisations.