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CHARITY LAUNCHES DOMESTIC ABUSE ADVICE LINE FOR BUSINESSES

Everyone's Business Domestic Abuse Advice Line

A new advice line for businesses supporting employees experiencing or at risk of domestic abuse has been launched by crisis support charity Hestia.

A 2014 TUC Survey Report found that one in four women and one in six men will experience domestic abuse at some point in their lifetime with 10% of victims reporting abuse at work. 

The Everyone’s Business Advice Line will be a point of contact for businesses, supporting them on how to approach disclosures of domestic abuse by their employees, particularly in light of COVID-19. They will also receive advice so that they can signpost staff to specialist domestic abuse services. 

Hestia says lockdown has shown that home is not always safe for everyone, and with more people working remotely, cases of domestic abuse are rising. The charity saw a 47% increase in victims reaching out for information and support on its free domestic abuse app, Bright Sky. 

While over 2.4 million people are affected by domestic abuse every year, it can be difficult for employers to recognise the signs and support those experiencing domestic abuse in their organisation. Hestia launched theEveryone’s Business programme to increase awareness and support in the workplace and have worked with more than 70 organisations from the Metropolitan Police to Balfour Beatty. 

Businesses play a significant role in supporting those who experience domestic abuse. Yet whilst 86% of employers agree they have a duty of care to support employees experiencing domestic abuse, the 2014 TUC Survey found that fewer than one in three victims disclose the abuse at work, citing ‘shame’ and ‘privacy’.

Lyndsey Dearlove, Head of Everyone’s Business Advice Line at Hestia, said: "Lockdown has meant victims have been away from their place of work, in isolation with their abusers, often with no way to seek support. Now, as more people return to their place of work, employers have a unique role to play in breaking the silence around domestic abuse. 

By providing a free advice line that offers guidance, employers will be able to help their employees and direct them to practical support. When employers take action and respond to domestic abuse, we know it saves lives. For too long domestic abuse has been nobody’s business and it is time it becomes everyone’s business."

 

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