The Jersey Safeguarding Partnership Board (SPB) is launching a new initiative aimed at supporting businesses and their employees who may be victims of domestic abuse.
This groundbreaking campaign is designed to raise awareness of domestic abuse and coercive control, and the impacts these issues can have in the workplace, regardless of gender or sexuality.
Domestic abuse may happen behind closed doors, but the impact does not stay there. Survivors carry the weight of it wherever they go, including the workplace. Through this multi-agency campaign, workplaces are encouraged to become a safe haven for those experiencing domestic abuse.
Launching in early 2024, the initiative will provide resources and training for employers to identify signs of domestic abuse, address concerns with staff, and ensure they are aware of the available support options.
Cathy Davison, Board Manager at the SPB, said: “Domestic abuse, in any form, has a significant and detrimental effect on people’s lives. For some, a place of work is their safe haven, and we need to raise awareness of the signs of domestic abuse and encourage colleagues to act. As a colleague, being aware of the signs of domestic abuse and asking the right questions, in a supportive manner, may be the first step to help a person live free from domestic abuse.”
The Government of Jersey will also be developing internal guidance for managers to better equip them in responding to these situations.
To inform this initiative, on online survey is available for businesses across all sectors in Jersey, from small cafes to large corporations. The survey aims to gather insight into existing policies and procedures related to domestic abuse, assess employers’ confidence in identifying the signs, and determine what additional support might be needed.
Jersey Domestic Abuse Support, Service Manager Sarah Hamon said: “We know how impactive domestic abuse and coercive control can be on people’s lives and this can extend into the workplace. We are hopeful that this campaign can help colleagues and managers to spot the red flags of domestic abuse and enable conversations to obtain the right support and guidance.
“Whether you work in a small or large business, we want to hear from you. Your input will be invaluable in shaping this campaign and making a difference in the lives of those affected by domestic abuse.”
Businesses are invited to register their interest in attending a breakfast launch event on 29 February at The Royal Yacht in St Helier. The event will provide attendees the opportunity to learn more about the campaign, access resources, and join an open dialogue about domestic abuse in the workplace.
Marine Oliveira, Freeda Service Manager and Co-Chair of the Domestic Abuse Sub-Group, added: “We would like all employers and businesses to feel engaged with the subject of this campaign. Domestic abuse can affect anyone, in any workplace. A positive and supportive response from a manager can make a significant difference to someone experiencing domestic abuse – it can be the foundation to this person breaking free from the abuse.”
The SPB is committed to establishing workplaces as safe spaces for all employees, and this initiative marks a significant step towards that goal. For more information, to register your interest for the launch event and complete the online survey, please visit https://spottheredflags.je/business/
This initiative, in line with the recent VAWG Taskforce Report, is a testament to a commitment to ensure a safe and secure environment. By harnessing the power of community leaders and employers, Islanders can make significant strides in protecting the vulnerable and ensuring a safer Jersey for all, and contribute to the overall reduction of domestic abuse incidents in Jersey.