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Where to find help if you are an employer

It is very often family members, close friends or work colleagues can see when a relationship is not healthy, or doesn’t seem quite right. The following may help you to recognise if a colleague is in an abusive situation at home.

If you are worried about a colleague you can find more information on the Open the Door website under tips and advice.

Possible signs of domestic violence and abuse in the workplace can include:

  • lateness or high absenteeism rate without explanation
  • uncharacteristic depression, anxiety, distraction or problems with concentration
  • changes in the quality of work performance for no apparent reason
  • the receipt of repeated upsetting calls/faxes/e-mails, or the individual being a victim of vandalism or threats
  • obsession with time
  • needing regular time off for appointments
  • inappropriate or excessive clothing
  • repeated injuries, or unexplained bruising or explanations that do not fit the injuries displayed
  • increased hours being worked for no apparent reason
  • reluctance to take part in out of office social activities

It is important to note that some people display no signs of violence or abuse and may have developed a range of coping strategies over a long period of time.

Supporting your employees health, safety and wellbeing

As an employer there are a number of things you can do to support the health and safety of your employees:

  • offering a confidential chat
  • making it easy for people to take time to attend GP appointments, meeting solicitors, arranging re-housing
  • offering reassurance that systems containing employee personal information, such as contact telephone numbers and private addresses, are kept confidential and secure
  • offering practical support to help keep employees safe when they are travelling for their work    

You may have an occupational or counselling scheme where people can seek support, often people experiencing domestic violence are more vulnerable to stress at work. You can also offer advice about contacting other agencies, for example sign posting to Open the Door.

Other ways you can help to support your employees/colleagues:

  • display posters, put up stickers on the back of toilet doors, add information to welcome screens, add information to screen savers for employees to see when they turn on their computer screens each day
  • you can contact idvawest@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk for pre-prepared slides and promotional materials
  • provide regular domestic violence and abuse training
  • ensure people with abusive behaviours are challenged and held to account, for example an employee may use telephones or email to threaten, harass or abuse someone. They may intentionally misuse their authority to assist in abusive acts of domestic violence to locate the person they are abusing.
  • supporting people with abusive behaviours who genuinely want to change their behaviours. We commission a behaviour change programme that you can refer people onto. For more information, including how to refer, contact roycook@interservefls.gse.gov.uk

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