Businesses to focus on domestic violence impact

Businesses to focus on domestic violence impact

Neil Blacklock of the charity Respect

Neil Blacklock of the charity Respect

First published in Opinion Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by

Businesses are being urged to consider the impact that domestic violence and abuse is having on their staff well-being, mental health and consequently productivity. A special one-off awareness session is being staged at the Steam museum on Monday 21st November at 10.00am and features expert advice to employers of all sectors and sizes.

The Swindon Community Safety Partnership and the charity Advocacy After Fatal Domestic Abuse have got together with the Swindon Mindful Employer Network which is managed locally by Richmond Fellowship Wiltshire. The event has attracted top speakers including Neil Blacklock, a leading expert on domestic violence with the national charity Respect. Neil has recently worked with Refuge to produce the Domestic Violence Resource Manual for Employers and will be presenting alongside colleague Nicola Sharp who co-authored the manual ‘Domestic Violence and Abuse – what employers need to know’ will also hold a discussion session featuring Pride of Swindon winner Frank Mullane who runs AAFDA (Advocacy After Fatal Domestic Abuse). Frank’s life was turned upside down eight years ago when his sister Julia Pemberton and her son Will were murdered as a result of fatal domestic abuse.

Frank says of the event taking place at Steam: “It is of benefit to employers and employees that employers understand the effects of the hugely prevalent domestic violence affliction and the appalling impact it has on individuals and families. Many of the vulnerable people being abused and those doing the abusing, are employed in local businesses. This will have significant implications for employers and the employees being abused.”

Arlene Griffin, Chair of the Domestic Violence Steering Group at the Swindon Community Safety Partnership, who is one of the organizers of the awareness session says: “We are very pleased to be working alongside the Swindon Mindful Employer Network and several leading charities in the field of domestic violence. Very often work is the only place the perpetrator can access the victim after the relationship has ended. We urge businesses in the area to send representatives to this important event which helps them appreciate the devastating consequences of domestic violence on their people and productivity”.

Neil Blacklock, Development Director of Respect who is a guest speaker says: “We are delighted to be speaking at this Swindon event and pleased that the town understands the importance that domestic violence is having on employees and the businesses they work for. I believe this session will increase understanding and hopefully benefit victims in their place of work. Due to demand, Respect and its partners have recently produced a Resource for Employers Manual which is a useful tool for managers. We believe employers can make a difference to the lives of many victims and by doing so retain valuable and productive employees’.

Richmond Fellowship Wiltshire’s David Latham who manages the Swindon Mindful Employer Network commented on the special awareness event: “It is very pleasing to see that the network is engaged in this important initiative and strongly encourage local employers to participate. The suffering and mental distress caused by domestic violence is damaging so many lives.” The awareness session commences at 10.00am and there will be an opportunity for informal networking and discussions with speakers and contributors. Free attendance to employers and business people of all sectors.

If you would like to book a place for this unique event please contact David Latham at smen@richmondfellowship.org.uk

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