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West Norfolk Council leaders pledge to help domestic abuse victims as part of HEAR campaign

A pledge to support staff who may be victims of domestic abuse received cross-party support at West Norfolk Council when leaders from three groups signed up together.

The HEAR campaign calls on employers to ensure that discussion around domestic abuse is open and that victims are supported.

Signatories of the pledge agree to provide access to specialist support for employees, as well as making sure staff get the right training so they know how to help colleagues.

West Norfolk Council has pledged to support staff members who are victims of domestic abuse. Picture: iStock
West Norfolk Council has pledged to support staff members who are victims of domestic abuse. Picture: iStock

They also agree to not tolerate domestic abuse in any form, make sure the workplace is supportive for colleagues who experience domestic abuse, and review domestic abuse policies and processes to make sure they are implemented correctly.

Cllr Terry Parish, leader of the borough council, said: “I’m proud to be a signatory to this important pledge. People find it very difficult to talk about domestic abuse and even harder to ask for help.

“Signing this pledge shows we are all committed to removing barriers and giving people the support they need to talk and get help.”

Leader of the council’s Conservative group, Cllr Stuart Dark, said: “My background in policing and children’s services means I have seen first-hand the awful and long-lasting impact of domestic abuse on victims and also on their families.

“This is an important piece of work that will help us cement another aspect of the council’s commitment to its employees and it’s right that we should sign up.”

Cllr Charles Joyce, leader of the Labour group, added: “I’m delighted that this pledge has unanimous agreement. Physical or emotional abuse of another person is never the answer to a problem.

“Staff who may themselves be victims of abuse, or who may need to help residents who disclose domestic abuse to them, need to be properly supported and this commits the borough council to making sure that happens.”

The HEAR pledge is based on four principles, a council spokesperson said:

- Help: “Every employer has a duty to provide access to organisations who can help employees. We will ensure colleagues affected by domestic abuse are given access to the right specialist support.”

- Educate: “Every employer should ensure the right training is provided. We will make sure the right training is provided to staff to know what steps to take to support colleagues.

- Awareness: “Every employer has a responsibility to be aware of domestic abuse.

“We will not tolerate domestic abuse in any form and will provide a supportive workplace for colleagues who experience such abuse.

- Respond: “Every employer should ensure the right policies are in place to respond to domestic abuse. We will review our policies and processes and ensure they are implemented correctly.”

The borough council has already undertaken a number of actions in support of the pledge, including launching new procedures, facilitating training and supporting White Ribbon Day – which this year took place on Saturday, November 25.

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