Now more than ever, more victims are at risk of domestic abuse than ever before.
As you will have seen in the media and on the news, cases of domestic abuse have spiralled over the last few weeks and months. We are working hard to continue to raise as much awareness as possible about this and the reasons behind it as well as how to spot the signs and support employees and members of your community – both now and when life starts to return to normal – albeit a new normal.
Whilst some victims are able to reach out for support, others will remain largely hidden until we return to some normality when both victims and their children have a safe space and someone to talk to. Now is the time to learn more so we are ready to support those in our community and workplace over the coming weeks and months.
Alpha Vesta have been funded by the PFCC (Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex) to run an 8 month pilot project “Bridging the Gap” to create Awareness, Prevention and Safe and Effective Early Intervention around domestic abuse across communities through their workplace.
The current crisis presents us all with challenges in the way we work, but has not dampened our commitment and passion in achieving this. All our presentations, consultations and training workshops are being offered online and we have written a specific Awareness Session – ‘Domestic Abuse and Coronavirus – The Toxic Mix’ with particular emphasis on the challenges we are all facing at the moment.
Alpha Vesta have a strong underpinning ethos that more needs to be done in terms of preventative and early intervention work before victims and perpetrators of abuse enter the criminal justice system or health and social care arenas.
So what is Domestic Abuse?
Domestic abuse is an umbrella term which refers to a range of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviours, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members.
With 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men experiencing domestic abuse at some point during their adult life, home isn’t always the safe place it should be. The impact of rising domestic abuse is felt and ripples through communities at a rapid rate, costing the country an estimated £66 billion per year (Home Office, 2019). The average unit cost of a victim of domestic abuse is calculated at £34,015 whilst preventative costs were a mere £5 per victim.
There is an incredibly valuable part to be played by businesses and organisations in terms of creating awareness, understanding and education within their workplace as well as those they come into contact with through their work. Creating a culture of openness keeps victims and their families safer, keeps them in employment and encourages them to speak out. It also has direct benefits to businesses and organisations in terms of increased productivity, reduced absence, positive health and wellbeing and a robust and caring reputation.
The impact of all crime across communities affects the businesses and organisations within them in a number of different ways both financially and psychologically and domestic abuse related crimes are one of the most prevalent crimes across Essex as well as England and Wales. Surprisingly though, research across Essex, shows that the majority of employers and employees in a range of businesses and organisations across the county lack any understanding of what it really is, what the risks are, how it impacts on their workplace as well as how they can respond safely and effectively to those needing help and support.
With the new Domestic Abuse Bill back on radar, never has there been a time where domestic abuse will receive more attention and potential funding into the future and new innovative ways of tackling domestic abuse across communities are being explored.
We would welcome the opportunity to talk to you about the project and discuss the benefits to your business or organisation of taking part. If you would like further information, you can contact Alpha Vesta by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01245 791281.
Director and Lead Trainer