A multi-agency campaign within the metropolitan West Midlands has been launched in response to the potential increase in domestic abuse incidents as a result of the lockdown caused by COVID19.
KEY MESSAGES OF THE CAMPAIGN:
Domestic abuse services are still in operation
Police response is business as usual
Businesses can support employees who are experiencing domestic abuse by referring them to appropriate services and maintaining contact
Victims are not alone and help is available
These will be promoted through social media, supermarkets, pharmacies and businesses still operating using the hashtag #NoExcuseForAbuse Please encourage sharing and raising awareness of this hashtag across your social media networks.
If you are a professional working on the front line - remember that domestic abuse services are open and it is important to encourage people experiencing domestic abuse to call them and for you to make referrals as you usually would.
Refuges are also operating within the COVID 19 guidance and local authorities have a duty to assist individuals and families who are made homeless due to domestic abuse.
A briefing for professionals is hosted by the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioners Website and is available by clicking on the image below.
There are direct links for those within the Metropolitan West Midlands to support services within their boroughs and also links to national resources for those outside of the metropolitan area.
For direct links for those areas covered by Police and Crime Commissioners in Staffordshire, Warwickshire and West Mercia please find contact details here
Resources are also available for employers which would assist them in having a Domestic Violence Policy which will support employees who are experiencing domestic abuse. With an increase of home working it has been identified that there is the potential for businesses not to be aware of any actions against their workers.
A toolkit published by Public Health England (PHE) and Business in the Community provides support to to help employers support workers affected by domestic abuse. Now more than ever with remote working line managers can give additional support to employees on domestic abuse.
Three key actions for employers to address domestic abuse
Acknowledge.Use this toolkit to help understand the issues, and acknowledge every employer’s responsibility to address domestic abuse. Enable colleagues to openly discuss this topic, and provide a supportive workplace.
Respond. Review your policies and processes to ensure you are providing a supportive workplace and can respond to disclosure. Make sure the policies and processes are implemented correctly.
Refer. Provide access to organisations who can help employees affected by the issue.
To access the toolkit click on the banner below:
Please remember: The government have confirmed that people who are experiencing domestic abuse can leave home to seek help, including refuges, despite rules to stop coronavirus spreading.