Speaker with lived experience of domestic abuse attends “Spot the Red Flags” launch event

A speaker with lived experience of domestic abuse attended yesterday’s campaign launch event to help local businesses “spot the red flags” in employees who may be victims of domestic abuse.

Sharon Livermore, founder of Domestic Abuse Education.

Sharon Livermore, a UK based speaker who works with organisations to address issues around domestic abuse, launched Domestic Abuse Education in 2023. She said: “I firmly believe all employers should strive to create safe spaces at work where employees can go and not only be heard but signposted to freedom.”

The launch event was an opportunity to remind local employers that resources and training is available for them to access to identify signs of domestic abuse, address concerns with staff, and ensure they are aware of the available support options – no matter what the size of their business is.

The Spot the Red Flags initiative was launched in 2022 by the Jersey Safeguarding Partnership Board (SPB) and this new campaign for businesses follows on from that launch. 

Businesses already on board are wide-ranging and include the retail and hospitality sector, marketing, law firms and finance firms.

The groundbreaking campaign was designed to raise awareness of domestic abuse and coercive control, and the impacts these issues can have in the workplace, regardless of a person’s gender or sexuality.

Cathy Davison, Board Manager at the SPB, said: “Domestic abuse may happen behind closed doors, but the message of the campaign is that the impact does not stay there. This can mean that survivors carry the weight of it wherever they go, including the workplace. Through this multi-agency campaign, workplaces in Jersey – regardless of size – are encouraged to become a safe haven for those experiencing domestic abuse.

“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.”

Jersey Domestic Abuse Support, Service Manager Sarah Hamon said: “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. By harnessing the power of community leaders and employers, we believe 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.”

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.”