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Domestic Abuse

NEW DOMESTIC ABUSE GUIDELINES TO SUPPORT COUNCIL STAFF

Bedford Borough Council has reached out to its workforce to encourage them to seek support should they be experiencing, or involved in, domestic abuse.

 

The Council is also encouraging other employers to consider the support they provide to staff who have become involved in domestic abuse.

 

Bedford Borough Council recognises domestic abuse as a widespread problem which will be treated as seriously as any other form of harassment, violence or abuse and has therefore launched new Domestic Abuse Support Guidelines for staff.

 

The guidelines are available upon request via questionstohr@bedford.gov.uk

 

Cllr Sarah-Jayne Holland, Portfolio Holder for Community and Regulatory Services, at Bedford Borough Council, said: “Our working environment promotes the principle of supporting staff experiencing situations like this. It would be reassuring if even more employers in Bedford Borough joined us in advocating this approach.”

 

The main aims of the Council’s Support Guidelines are to provide practical steps to support employees experiencing domestic abuse and for dealing with perpetrators.  By removing fears of stigmatisation, employees are encouraged to disclose domestic abuse. Roles and responsibilities within the Council are clarified and a commitment is made to raise awareness of this topic throughout the organisation.

 

Domestic abuse is defined as any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, manipulative or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. This can include, but is not limited to; psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional abuse.

 

Nationally, domestic abuse represents approximately 25% of all violent crime.  In Bedford Borough there are on average 44 domestic abuse incidents reported to the Police each week.  Between April 2012 and March 2013 there were 2439 incidents of domestic abuse in Bedford Borough reported to Bedfordshire Police.

 

Bedford Borough Council works with other agencies to ensure an effective multi-agency approach for victims.

 

The Council offers support through their Employee Support Service and a network of trained Bedford Borough Council Domestic Abuse Champions can provide line managers or colleagues, who are approached by employees experiencing domestic abuse, with information on external support services within Bedford and how to access these. 

 

Alternatively, employees are encouraged to call the Domestic Abuse National Helpline on 0808 2000 247.  In an emergency, dial 999 or for all other police enquiries call 101.

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