Make Your Work Place A Safe Place To Talk
Domestic abuse relies on the silence of the person who is experiencing it and those around them. Our goal is to get the Hertfordshire business community to work together to end Domestic Abuse.
When statistically 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men are affected by domestic violence in their life time, it figures that a significant proportion of your work team are survivors of abuse. The reality is that Domestic Abuse is closer than you think.
But what of the impact of domestic abuse on our wider economy? This violence epidemic affects more than just the victim. In fact it costs the UK somewhere in the region of £5.5 billion p.a.
Specifically it has been calculated that domestic violence costs £1.9 billion in lost economic output. The cost of domestic abuse to the criminal justice system alone is 1.2 billion. And, staggeringly, domestic violence costs the NHS over £1.6 billion in physical and mental health costs.
What’s The Bottom Line?
In terms of the business impact the statistics speak for themselves. Evidence suggests that in any one year more than 20% of employed women take time off work because of domestic violence. Approximately 30 women attempt suicide every day as a result of domestic abuse and 3 women take their lives every week. Absenteeism has a very real and costly impact on your bottom line and your intervention and support could enable you to improve the health and well-being of your team whilst transforming productivity.
But what about ‘presenteeism’, where employee’s concentration levels decline as a direct result of abuse, struggling with anxiety, lack of sleep and living in fear. Worryingly, male abuse survivors are significantly less likely to seek help or speak out for fear of stigmatisation in the work-place. As a result, mental health issues can go untreated and escalate over time. Statistically 68% of people who endure domestic violence suffer clinical depression and 1/3 of these people present with PTSD. Mental health issues result in a significant reduction in concentration levels, impact the ability of colleagues to cope with deadlines or manage day to day tasks to their normal high standards. What does this mean to your business? The resulting presenteeism ripples through a workplace, affecting both team morale and effectiveness.
Sadly 2% of women will lose their jobs as a result of the impact of domestic abuse. Can you afford to lose some of your best people? By simply reviewing your HR policies and granting ‘Domestic Abuse Leave’ you could help retain your top talent and engender loyalty and employee engagement in the process. When people are a business’s biggest asset, it pays to invest in them, long term.
How Can You Take A Stand Against Domestic Abuse?
By signposting your employees to the right help you can take a stand against abuse. A simple phone call to The Herts Domestic Abuse Helpline could ensure a colleague gets the advice and support they need to help them break free from the cycle of abuse. Appropriate support and intervention from managers and colleagues across the business, could well improve staff productivity and retention levels. No one profits from domestic abuse. You can call our expert team in confidence to discuss any concerns you may have about a colleague and how best to support them on 08 088 088 088
Behind closed doors?
It is a misconception that domestic abuse and controlling behaviour happens behind closed doors with a lack of witnesses and evidence to support survivors and help them get justice. In fact approximately 75% of people who endure domestic violence are actually targeted at their place of work. However for every 100 reports of domestic abuse by a man only 3 of the accused are convicted. As work colleagues and employees your evidence could help ensure your colleague gets the justice they deserve. By starting a conversation with a team member you are concerned about you have the ability to transform outcomes. Learn how to spot the signs someone is struggling with domestic abuse here.
In the face of these arguments surely Employers have to take action?
So what can you do? It’s so simple really. Ensure all your staff know they have someone to turn to by displaying our Helpline Number across your business. Consider creating a Domestic Abuse champion within your business who can confidently reassure colleagues that the business will support them through this difficult time, listen and advise appropriately. Raising the profile of our charity and ensuring your colleagues feel safe and supported and able to phone us in confidence from your offices could, quite simply, make all the difference. Do you have a private space where people could call our helpline? Could you make your workplace a safe place to talk?
Contact our operations team on firstname.lastname@example.org to get our FREE Helpline posters emailed to you directly or find out more about our charity and how you can support us.
Our statistics are taken from the 16 Days of Action campaign website where you can access their toolkit - a step-by-step simple guide on how a company can tackle an issue that impacts health, wellbeing, absence and turn over in the workplace. You can also sign a pledge to support your team and find out more about adapting your company policies and procedures to help abuse survivors.