Suffolk leaders encourage businesses to adopt Domestic Abuse policy as part of White Ribbon campaign

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Suffolk Public Sector leaders have come together to encourage businesses to adopt a Domestic Abuse policy as part of the national White Ribbon campaign.

White Ribbon CampaignPublic Health England have developed a toolkit for employers which Suffolk County Council, Suffolk Police, Suffolk Police Crime Commissioner and Suffolk Chamber of Commerce are recommending to businesses in the county. 

Nationally, only 5% of organisations have a specific policy or guidelines on the issue, yet 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.

Employers owe a duty of care to employees and have a legal responsibility to provide a safe and effective work environment. Preventing and tackling domestic abuse is an integral part of the toolkit developed by Public Health England and the national charity Business in the Community.

Download the toolkit from GOV.UK: New advice to help employers deal with domestic abuse and stigma.

Councillor James Reeder, Suffolk County Council Cabinet Member for Health, said:

“Having a workplace policy or guidance on domestic abuse sends a clear message that it is not tolerated inside or outside the workplace, and that the employer wants to help.

“We are encouraging employers to take action so that skilled and experienced staff are able to retain their jobs and feel safe and supported in the workplace.”

Paul Simon, Head of Communications and Campaigns, Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, said:

“Suffolk Chamber knows that the vast majority of businesses in the county are civic businesses in that they take their duty to their staff very seriously indeed. Our research shows that more and more are actively involved in promoting good health and wellbeing outcomes among their workforces. We are pleased to be associated with the launch of the Domestic Abuse toolkit as it will give employers the confidence to take the appropriate course of action in supporting staff members suffering from this particular social evil.”

Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore has invested more than £2 million in domestic abuse support services in the county since he was elected six years ago. He said:

“Domestic abuse is an appalling crime; it ruins the lives of victims and has a devastating impact on their families, particularly as children suffer the consequences as well. No-one should have to live with the fear of violence or controlling behaviour, especially not at home.”

“It is crucially important that victims have the confidence and support they need to report domestic violence and I hope the focus of the White Ribbon campaign will give those suffering abuse the confidence to speak out.”

Detective Chief Superintendent Eamonn Bridger, said:

"White Ribbon is an opportunity to demonstrate our work alongside other organisations in raising awareness of domestic abuse and violence, sending a strong message that it will not be tolerated or condoned in any way.”