Health & Safety

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Domestic Abuse

26 July 2009

Domestic abuse is any emotional, physical or sexual abuse by a family member, often by a partner.

male hand grabing female arm

It is estimated that 20% of women suffer violence or abuse at home, but men too can be victims of domestic violence. However only a quarter of domestic abuse incidents are believed to be reported to the police. Rather than being an isolated event, domestic abuse tends to recur and to increase in severity over time. Without intervention, the most common results of domestic abuse are divorce and death.

Effects of Domestic Abuse

Victims of domestic abuse will not necessarily have any visible injuries, but they may suffer from anxiety, depression and loss of confidence. These will affect performance and or attendance at work and therefore threatens job security. A good employer will have a Domestic Abuse policy, or you may prefer to approach your Union rep first. Some victims of domestic abuse wrongly feel responsible or embarrassed about the treatment they are suffering and will feel uncomfortable talking to other family members or friends. The CWU is there for you and we understand the need for discretion.

The CWU can help

You can receive confidential advice and support from your local representative. Where there are policies in your workplace your rep will make sure you know about them and make sure they are followed, if that is your wish.

Although our reps are not trained councillors they can give some practical support:

  • If you just want someone to talk to, we can help
  • If you want some advice with how your home life is affecting your work, we can help
  • If you want to escape from an abusive relationship, we can help
  • If you want to know your rights, we can help
  • If you think you know someone who is suffering from domestic abuse, we can help

Telephone help line

  • Women's Aid 24 hour free hotline: 0808 2000 247