Domestic Abuse

The University opposes domestic abuse in all of its forms and recognises that it is a widespread problem which can affect victims both physically and mentally. This webpage contains links to Support Agencies, in addition to advice for staff and managers on steps that can be taken to help those staff affected feel safe in the workplace.

The University is committed to ensuring all staff are provided with a safe working environment, in which risks to health and wellbeing are considered and dealt with efficiently.

Advice to Staff

Domestic abuse is an issue that affects all sections of society and is not restricted to just physical abuse. There will be staff within the University workforce who have, or continue to experience domestic abuse in their personal lives. As a responsible employer, the University is committed to minimising the impact of domestic abuse.

If you are a victim of domestic abuse it is important to tell someone. A list of contact details to various dedicated local and national support agencies can be found via the Support Agencies webpage.

You are also encouraged to speak with your line manager if you are concerned about or are experiencing domestic abuse. Line managers will not ask you for proof, they will be non-judgemental, take you seriously and take the time to listen.

If you prefer, you could also speak with a colleague, to the Staff Helpline and/or HR Adviser. The contacts of your HR Team can be found on the About Us webpage.

Guidance is available on the UKVI website for staff on a dependent’s visa who have experienced or are experiencing domestic abuse.

Definition

All forms of domestic abuse come from the abuser’s desire for power and control. The effects on the individual can be far reaching, have lasting impacts on their physical and mental health and have a detrimental effect on that individual’s performance at work.

The organisation ‘Living without abuse’ quotes that one in four women and one in six men will be affected by domestic abuse in their lifetime. Domestic abuse has more repeat victims than any other crime; on average a victim will have been subjected to 35 assaults before they call the police. Many victims do not feel confident to inform their employer that they have experienced domestic abuse and are not aware of the support available.

The Government definition, which is not a legal definition, includes so called ‘honour’ based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage, and is clear that victims are not confined to one gender or ethnic group.

The University will support all employees who experience abuse, regardless of the type of abuse.

Advice to Managers

If an employee approaches you for advice, make sure the conversation takes place in privacy. It may be appropriate to offer the option of speaking with another colleague or someone from Human Resources. The most important aspect of this conversation is to encourage the employee to speak about their situation, not who they speak to. You should ensure that you have formal consent from the employee if they request that you contact a support agency on their behalf.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development have jointly developed a list of ten actions that can be taken to help manage domestic abuse in the workplace. The actions highlight how managers can recognise the problem, respond to it, provide support and refer to appropriate help.

You may be the first person an employee has confided in and raising this issue will have taken a great deal of courage. The response the employee receives from you may be a crucial factor as to whether they seek further help and support. A list of local and national support agencies can be found on our Support Agencies webpage

Perpetrators of domestic abuse

Employees should inform their line managers and/or Human Resources, in confidence, of any changes to their circumstances which affects their criminal record status, in order that the impact on their suitability to undertake their role may be reviewed.

Looking for something else?

There is a wealth of information, guidance and support available from Human Resources relating to all aspects of employment and supporting policies and procedures. An index of information can be found on the Policies, Procedures and Related Guidance webpage.

Alternatively, if you are unable to find the information you require, please contact your HR Team.