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Employers across the South West urged to mark 16 Days of Action by tackling domestic abuse

Date: 24 Nov 2018

As part of the international 16 days of action movement, Public Health England South West is calling on employers across the region to play their part in tackling domestic and sexual abuse and violence.

  • An estimated 1.9 million adults aged 16 to 59 experienced domestic abuse in the last year
  • The cost of domestic abuse to business is estimated at £1.9 billion a year
  • Two women a week are killed by a current or former partner in England and Wales
  • Each year more than 100,000 people in the UK are at high and imminent risk of being murdered or seriously injured as a result of domestic abuse
  • Domestic and sexual abuse and violence take place at all levels of society, regardless of social class, race, religion, sexuality or disability

The cost of domestic abuse to business is estimated at £1.9 billion a year due to decreased productivity, time off work, lost wages and sick pay. It can potentially have an adverse impact on staff morale, as well as on an organisations image and reputation.

Domestic abuse infographic

Research commissioned by the Vodafone Foundation revealed that only 5% of organisations have a specific policy or guidelines on domestic abuse. Employers can send a clear message that domestic abuse is not tolerated inside or outside the workplace by developing and implementing a policy to tackle the problem. An effective workplace policy can raise awareness, break down the stigma around speaking out about domestic abuse, and create a supportive environment where employees affected by abuse can acknowledge to themselves or their employer that their relationships are abusive or coercive.  Smaller employers can also tackle domestic abuse by committing to be ‘domestic abuse aware’ and making information available to employees on what to do if they have concerns.

PHE have worked in partnership with Business in the Community to develop a simple workplace toolkit to help any organisation make a commitment to respond to the risk of domestic abuse.

Click here to take a look at the workplace toolkit


“I would like to take this opportunity to praise the work of the Health Promotion Service and the framework in place for the Workplace Health Award, which has significantly changed the focus and the culture of our Company, especially in relation to attitudes toward health and wellbeing and the concept of a healthy workplace being embedded as the norm”

HR Manager for Proper Cornish and Furniss and Head of Health & Wellbeing Initiative

Working Days Lost

According to HSE, 36 million days were lost in 2008 as a result of work-related ill health or workplace injury. The worst performing organisations lost an average of 12 working days per employee [CBI/AXA].

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