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Given the amount of time a person will spend at work, employers have a responsibility for the well-being of their employees – particularly when it comes to being safe at work.

An estimated 1.9 million adults will experience domestic abuse each year. This makes it a prominent issue in our society.

In addition, 75% of people experiencing domestic abuse are targeted at work, though last year saw an average of less than one disclosure to employers over a 12 month period.

This suggests that not enough people feel supported to raise the problem to their employers.

Femicides over the past 10 years

The recently released Femicide Census 2009-2018 highlights that over a period of 10 years, the West Midlands has the 4th highest amount of femicides.

9 women were killed at their workplace, and 5 more were killed in the street or area outside their place of work.

These harrowing statistics also show that at least 43% of victims were known to have separated or taken steps to separate from the perpetrator.

Warning signs

Employers have a responsibility to ensure people experiencing domestic abuse are safe and supported as problems do not stop just because someone is at work.

In particular, employers have an increased legal responsibility to any employee who discloses that they may be at risk of harm.

Signs that an employee might be experiencing domestic abuse include:

  • Unexplained injuries
  • Decreased productivity
  • Frequent lateness or absence
  • Changes in behaviour

These are behaviours that could reflect a range of issues and at the same time, potentially lead to disciplinary procedures. For this reason, employer must take care to understand what is behind them so not to dismiss someone unjustly.

Anawim currently offers domestic abuse awareness training. This is tailored and can include topics such as: raising awareness, information about legal options, how to support your employees, risk assessments and improving your organisations response to domestic abuse.

Support services for individuals

Our free helpline is available on 0800 019 8818 for anyone who identifies as a woman, providing a safe and confidential resource to speak with a specialist female caseworker about violence and abuse, as well as mental health, addiction, finances, housing, families and relationships and anything else.

Sometimes it can be difficult for people to see when domestic abuse is happening, please share these resources in case someone you know may need them.

While our own services are specialised for women, anyone can experience domestic abuse. Respect run a free helpline for men on 0808 8010327.

LGBT+ and anti-violence charity Galop provide a national Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans+ domestic abuse helpline on 0800 999 5428. They can also provide support for those who have experienced hate crime and sexual violence.