Project launched to help businesses raise awareness about domestic abuse

Business / Sat 30th Sep 2023 at 09:46am

A NEW project has been launched which aims to help small and medium sized businesses raise awareness about domestic abuse among employees.

The Domestic Abuse Awareness in the Workplace Now (DAAWN) project, funded by the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC) for Essex in partnership with Essex Police, Essex Chambers of Commerce and Practical HR Ltd, aims to engage with the business community to help them raise awareness about domestic abuse among their employees.

A short project pilot was held in 2022 which saw 33 SMEs take part, with awareness information made available to 2,498 employees. 

This information included short videos for business leaders, managers and employees. Written information was also provided, including a policy, signposting to specialist agencies and information on healthy relationships.

Following this successful trial, the project is now being extended to all SMEs across Essex funded by the PFCC’s Victims’ Fund. It offers SMEs match funding to help them implement and communicate domestic abuse awareness information.

Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: “Protecting vulnerable people and breaking the cycle of domestic abuse is one of our policing priorities to get crime down in Essex. I’m pleased to be supporting the DAAWN project which will help raise awareness of domestic abuse and allow people to get help at an early stage”

Denise Rossiter, CEO of the Essex Chambers of Commerce, said: “Domestic abuse can have a devastating impact on individuals and families. The workplace can be a safe place and provides an incredible opportunity to raise awareness to help people get the support they need. There is also a payback for businesses, as providing awareness and support can lead to staff retention, reduced absence, improved performance and overall engagement.  The awareness information can be included in any wider wellbeing support provided by organisations to their employees.

Paula Fisher, Managing Director of Practical HR, said: “A lot has been achieved in recent years around wellbeing that allows people to speak more openly. We want to achieve this with domestic abuse so we can remove the stigma and open up conversations so that individuals do not have to suffer in silence”. 

If you would like more information or are an SME business in Essex that would like to get involved, please contact www.essexchambers.co.uk/contact1

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