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Council offers domestic abuse support for staff

Bethan Lindsey-Gaylard, Domestic Abuse Co-ordinator showed the council’s support for Bridgend Women’s Aid at the domestic abuse charity’s recent open day.

Bridgend County Borough Council has reaffirmed its support for council workers who are also victims of domestic abuse.

The authority has updated its Domestic Abuse Protocol setting out what actions it will take to support members of staff who are experiencing physical, emotional, sexual, psychological or financial abuse from intimate partners or family members.

Incorporating a consistent approach for managers to ensure that instances of domestic abuse are treated seriously, compassionately and confidentially, the protocol is designed to raise employee awareness of domestic abuse issues in both the community and the workplace, ensure that they understand the roles they can play in tackling domestic abuse, and encourages victims of domestic abuse to access support without the fear of being judged by colleagues.

Councillor Phil White, Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “Research shows that 75 per cent of people experiencing domestic abuse are targeted at work. As an employer, the council has a responsibility to make sure that members of staff are working in a safe, supportive environment, and this updated protocol will help us to achieve this.”

“As well as supporting council staff who are victims of domestic abuse, we’re also determined to take strong action against employees who are perpetrators of domestic abuse. The council encourages staff to highlight any concerns about this type of behaviour, which is totally unacceptable and will not be condoned.”

The protocol also provides staff with information about how and where they can receive advice, help, support and counselling.

Councillor White added: “Our Equalities team is working hard to form and maintain strong links with our local partners and ensure that not only does council staff know about available support, they also feel comfortable accessing it.”

Kathryn Fox, Bridgend Women’s Aid’s Support in the Community Co-ordinator, said: “This is excellent news. By updating its domestic abuse protocol, Bridgend County Borough Council is reinforcing our firm message that domestic abuse will not be tolerated in Bridgend County Borough.”

“We’d like to thank the council’s Equalities team for attending our recent open day, and look forward to continuing to raise awareness about domestic abuse issues in the county borough.”

For more information about the support available from Bridgend Women’s Aid, call (01656) 766139.

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