Are your employees or colleagues in abusive relationships?

Thursday, 28th May 2020

A STAFFORDSHIRE domestic abuse support service is urging local employers to be on the look-out for tell-tale signs their employees might be in an abusive relationship and in need of support.

The request comes as the lockdown restrictions start to be relaxed and more people return to work after weeks at home – a time which has seen an increased number of calls to domestic abuse support services in Staffordshire.

New Era provides emotional support, practical advice and advocacy services for anyone in Tamworth and elsewhere in Staffordshire affected – victims and their families, as well as perpetrators who want help to change their abusive behaviour.

Mickey Hemmings, New Era’s acting head of service, told Tamworth Informed: “There’s no doubt the lockdown has brought added emotional, financial and other pressures for many people.

“If a colleague is showing a change in their personality, either by being quieter and more withdrawn than usual, appearing to be on tenterhooks or worried about something, it might be a sign they are in an abusive relationship and in need of support.

“Whatever the circumstances, it’s important local employers – and employees – know what to do.

“If anyone is experiencing domestic abuse or concerned about someone else who might be, we’re able to provide specialist round-the-clock advice and guidance.”

Other indications someone might be affected by domestic abuse could include having a succession of unplanned days off work, offering to work longer shifts and extra overtime and an apparent reluctance to go home.

New Era’s confidential helpline for victims – 0300 303 3778 – operates 24-hours a day, while the helpline for perpetrators is 01785 601690 and is available during normal office hours, Monday to Friday.

Mickey added: “Research shows employers who don’t tackle domestic abuse are more likely to see a reduction in productivity and lower staff morale within their organisation, as well as a higher turnover of people, which could lead to extra recruitment and other costs.”

New Era runs free one-day domestic abuse awareness and Workplace Champions training for local employees at different locations around Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent which it plans to resume as soon as it’s safe to do so.

For more information about New Era’s training, please email: new-era@victimsupport.org.uk or Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce: info@staffordshirechambers.co.uk

READ MORE: Staffordshire fire crews receive more than 50 call-outs to secondary fires over Bank Holiday weekend

Domestic Abuse Support
Remember, you are not to blame for what is happening. You are not alone, and above all, you do not have to suffer in silence.

Domestic abuse can encompass but is not limited to the following types of abuse:

  • physical
  • emotional
  • psychological
  • sexual
  • financial

Staffordshire-wide and Warwickshire-wide support for victims and their families:

  • New Era’s Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent 24-hour confidential helpline: 0300 303 3778 and their 24/7 live chat facility at www.new-era.uk
  • Talk2Someone Warwickshire have a confidential helpline which can be reached on 0800 408 1552 – lines are open 8:30am – 8:30pm, Monday – Friday and 10:00am – 4:00pm Saturday.

National support and out of hours:

  • Women’s Aid Domestic Violence Helpline – Free 24-hour national helpline run by Women’s Aid and Refuge – 0808 2000 247
  • Respect Men’s Advice Line – Confidential helpline for male victims of domestic abuse – 0808 801 0327
  • National LGBT Domestic Abuse Helpline – Emotional and practical support for LGBT+ people – 0800 999 5428

Localised support for victims and their families (including safe accommodation):

  • Pathway (supporting Lichfield and Tamworth): 01543 676800
  • Staffordshire Women’s Aid 24 hour confidential helpline (supporting Stafford, Cannock and South Staffordshire): 0300 330 5959

Staffordshire-wide services for perpetrators wanting to change their behaviour:

  • New Era Domestic Abuse Service for perpetrators who want support to change (across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent): 01785 601690
In an emergency, always dial 999