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Domestic Abuse Charter

The GMB Work to Stop Domestic Abuse Charter calls on employers to support employees experiencing domestic abuse by ensuring that: 

  • Workers will not be disadvantaged at work
  • Workers be supported with access to services and information   
  • Employers train staff to be able to appropriately and confidently support staff 

What is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse as an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence, in the majority of cases, by a partner or ex-partner. 

Domestic Abuse can that can include, but is not limited to: - 

  • Psychological Abuse -Intimidation, threats, belittling, Gaslighting (persistently undermining or manipulating someone, so they doubt their own sanity) 
  • Physical Abuse -Any type of violence against someone such as pushing, hitting, punching, kicking, choking or using weapons 
  • Sexual Abuse - Any unwanted touching or groping, including pressuring or forcing someone to have sex when they don't want to (Rape) 
  • Verbal Abuse - Belittling, insulting, or demeaning someone with words – alone or in front of others. 
  • Financial Abuse- Taking control of someone's finances to deny them money and limit their independence. 
  • Emotional Abuse- Being made to feel guilty, emotional blackmail (threats to kill oneself or lots of emotional outbursts) 
  • Online Abuse -Insulting or threatening someone via social media, messaging, or email. 
  • Controlling behaviour- Attempting to restrict who someone sees or talks to. Preventing them socialising with friends or family. 

Anyone can experience domestic abuse regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, socio-economic status (Class), sexuality or background - this is true for both the abuser and the abused. 

Some people who experience other forms of discrimination and oppression, may face additional barriers to disclosing abuse and finding help, such as migrant women, LGBT+ and BAME people. 

Different kinds of abuse can happen in different contexts. The most prevalent type of domestic abuse occurs in couple relationships, but the definition of domestic abuse also covers abuse between family members, such as teenager to parent or carer. 

Why is this a workplace issue?

GMB believes that being a good employer means recognising the shared responsibility to support staff through new or difficult periods in their lives.  

Domestic abuse has a devastating impact on individuals and their families. People experiencing domestic abuse are often subject to disciplinary action or job losses, often through no fault of their own. 

Those experiencing domestic abuse may feel like their workplace is the only space place for them and an important opportunity to get support away from there abuser. Other workers are targeted at their workplace, even after they have fled an abusive situation, as their physical workplace maybe a known location to their abuser.  

In either case, an understanding and effective workplace policy to deal with the impact of domestic abuse is key and will build a more nurturing and safer working environment for all staff. This will encourage greater staff retention and importantly economic independence for those individuals living with or fleeing domestic abuse. 

How many people does it effect?

1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men in the UK have endured domestic abuse in their lifetime.  

Two women each week and one man each month are killed in England and Wales by a current or former partner, with at an estimated 2.4 million people experiencing domestic abuse last year in England and Wales. 

 In Northern Ireland, the highest ever number of domestic violence crimes was recorded by police with 16,575 domestic abuse crimes recorded with Scotland recording recorded 60,641 incidents of domestic abuse, both between 2018 – 2019. 

 

The Charter & Policy


We are asking all employers to sign our charter and commit to our policy.

 

Work to Stop Domestic Abuse - GMB Employer Charter

As an employer who cares about the impact of domestic abuse on our employees, we pledge to: 

  1. Support employees who are experiencing Domestic Abuse to access support services and information confidentially.  
  2. Ensure that those experiencing Domestic Abuse will not be disadvantaged within the terms and conditions of their employment and will take all reasonable measures to facilitate any needs in the workplace.  
  3. Commit to working/participating with other organisations to facilitate best support for those experiencing Domestic Abuse.  
  4. Provide all employees with access to toolkits, information and our policies on domestic abuse, in a format that is easily and discretely accessible within the workplace.  
  5. Ensure that we have employees trained across our organisation, to provide adequate access to support within the workplace for all employees. Staff trained should be representative of our workplace and will include line managers and Trade Union representatives. 

Download The Charter

Download The Policy

 

What can reps do? 

GMB Reps already often play a huge role in supporting individual members experiencing domestic abuse in their workplace. However, this can mean that some workers never come forward for fear of not being believed or supported because they don’t know that GMB and the employer can support them. 

The Work to Stop domestic abuse campaign is a way to collectivise this the way we support members - to make the protection and support available to workers experiencing domestic abuse, more visible and accessible to everyone in the workplace, from day one on the job. 

This includes employers ensuring that we have employees trained across organisations, for all employees including line managers and Trade Union representatives. 

We need GMB reps and branch secretaries to be leading the call for better protect in the workplace of workers who experience domestic abuse  and to negotiate this at a local level. 

Want to know more about how to support the campaign? please contact the equality and inclusion department on equalityinclusion@gmb.org.uk or your regional equality officer

 
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