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Bath and Wells Multi Academy Trust

CEO blog December 3rd

CEO blog December 3rd

We can all play a part in stopping domestic abuse

Research about domestic violence involves statistics - a lot of statistics - all of them thoroughly depressing and which make any right-minded person despair of what is going on behind the curtains in too many homes.
Here are some of them, from the SafeLives charity.

  • Each year nearly two million people in the UK suffer some form of domestic abuse - 1.3 million female victims (8.2% of the population) and 600,000 male victims (4%);
  • Each year more than 100,000 people in the UK are at high and imminent risk of being murdered or seriously injured as a result of domestic abuse;
  • Women are much more likely than men to be the victims of high risk or severe domestic abuse;
  • One in four women and one in seven men will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime.

And this is just the UK - according to the UN, particularly since the pandemic, the numbers have soared in low-middle income countries.
This is a big problem, often hidden through fear or shame, and since it is likely to affect family members, friends and colleagues, we all have a part to play in protecting the most vulnerable.
16 Days of Action Against Domestic Violence is a campaign running now which highlights this crisis, and part of it encourages businesses to play a part in stopping domestic abuse and violence. More at
www.16daysofaction.co.uk/the-campaign/

As an employer, we have a legal obligation to assess risk and support the health and safety and wellness of our employees so organisations like ours have a vital part to play.

At the BWMAT, we have signed up to ‘Care first’ which provides confidential, impartial advice and support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The service is free for you to access whenever you need.

Their information and advice specialists are there to help you find practical ways forward when you feel overwhelmed by problems.
These include domestic abuse and other problems in the home as well as support with workplace and debt issues.
There is more at www.carefirst-lifestyle.co.uk
In addition, you can find helpful information at
www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/getting-help-for-domestic-violence/
One positive thing this year was the Domestic Abuse Act receiving royal assent. The Act is set to ‘help transform the response to domestic abuse, helping towards prevention of offending, protecting victims and ensuring they have the support they need’. Of particular interest to us is how the legislation now recognises children who view or are affected by domestic abuse as victims.

If we believe there is a concern in this regard for a child, in every one of our schools there is a designated safeguarding lead (DSL) who has a connection through to their local authority.

The Act also covers a wide-ranging legal definition of domestic abuse which incorporates a range of abuses beyond physical violence, including?emotional,?coercive?or controlling behaviour, and economic abuse.?
This is not the kind of topic I, or anyone else, enjoys writing about, but the statistics don’t lie. Most or all of us are a friend, relative or colleague of a victim, even if, in some cases, we don’t actually know it.
But we need to understand it and we need to have conversations about it. Domestic abuse can be a hidden abuse, which only benefits the perpetrator.
We all have a role to play to stop it.


Nikki Edwards

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