Domestic abuse is everyone’s business – which is why workplaces should do more

Media coverage has pointed to increased numbers of domestic abuse incidents during the past 18 months of the pandemic. But has this translated into increased action in support of those affected, asks Lisa Davis?

Earlier this year, Changing Relations collaborated with Dr Stephen Burrell, deputy director of Durham University’s Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse, on a piece of research exploring how businesses in the north east of England were addressing gender equality issues and whether this had been affected by the Covid-19 crisis. While the vast majority of respondents felt that their organisations had a workplace culture that encouraged gender equality, when it came to domestic abuse, the responses were troubling: 45% of respondents were unsure whether their business did a good job of addressing domestic abuse, with 19% disagreeing – or even strongly disagreeing – that their company did a good job. Furthermore, although we know that the pandemic intensified victims’ experiences of domestic abuse, a further 41% of survey respondents were unsure whether their organisation had taken more steps to address domestic abuse since the pandemic, with 33% disagreeing and 9% strongly disagreeing. One respondent said domestic abuse had “never been discussed, mentioned, nor is it in a policy” nor “in any company awareness campaign.” Continue to article published 10th December 2021.