A new advice line for businesses supporting employees experiencing or at risk of domestic abuse has been launched by domestic abuse charity Hestia.
1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will experience domestic abuse at some point in their lifetime and with 10 per cent of UK victims reporting abuse at work.
Funded by the Home Office, 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 due to Covid-19, cases of domestic abuse are rising. The charity saw a 47 per cent 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,[ii] it can be difficult for employers to recognise the signs and support those experiencing domestic abuse in their organisation. Hestia launched the Everyone’s Business programme to increase awareness and support in the workplace and have worked with over 70 organisations from the Metropolitan Police to Balfour Beatty.
Minister for Safeguarding, Victoria Atkins said: “Domestic abuse affects people in all parts of the economy, and employers can play a crucial role in helping staff who are victims of this appalling crime. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought into focus the need for victims to have as many sources of support as possible. We are proud to be funding Hestia to provide a new employers’ domestic abuse advice line which will help employers support their colleagues at this critical time.”
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