Last week, Wirral Council honoured 13 businesses and community groups for receiving the borough’s Domestic Abuse Business Quality Mark training.
The event, which took place during October’s Domestic Abuse Awareness Month, saw businesses and community groups accredited for taking part in the specialist sessions.
Representatives from many of the groups attended a ceremony in the Mayor’s Parlour at Wallasey Town Hall on 10th October to receive certificates from Mayor of Wirral Cllr Tony Smith, acknowledging their commitment to supporting victims and survivors of domestic abuse.
Businesses received Wirral’s Business Quality Mark for Zero Tolerance to Domestic Abuse, which was first launched in October 2018 at Wirral’s Domestic Abuse conference.
Community groups received their titles as Community Champions for Domestic Abuse, which is an extension of the borough’s quality mark scheme.
The training, funded by Wirral Council, has so far benefitted 18 businesses, care organisations, service providers and community groups across the borough. A further five are currently engaged in the accreditation process.
Cllr Tom Usher, Cabinet Member Children Families and Education, said at the event: “One in four women and one in six men will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime. But despite this, it’s only around 5% of employers who have some specific domestic abuse policies.
“You have all committed your organisations to the Zero Tolerance to Domestic Abuse pledge with us, you’ve taken the time to make staff aware of the services that are out there but one of the things that is most difficult when speaking to survivors of DA is finding someone to confide in.
“Having people out in the community, that survivors can speak to and trust, who are also aware of the services that are out there, is really key to what we’re trying to achieve.”
The training, delivered by Involve Northwest and Wirral Women and Children’s Aid, hopes to raise awareness of the support that members of the community can provide to survivors of abuse, however big or small.
Specifically targeting groups that have deeply-rooted connections in Wirral communities, Involve have worked particularly closely with hairdressers, beauticians and other businesses to empower individuals to spot the signs of domestic abuse and to advise them of where to seek appropriate local support.
Jill Barr, Domestic Abuse Consultant at Involve North West and one of the trainers delivering the sessions, said: “We have been delivering the Quality Mark training since launching it at Wirral’s Domestic Abuse conference in 2018. Since then, we have worked closely with business owners and community groups from all backgrounds.
“What we are seeing is that within these groups, individuals often work alone or in extremely close quarters with their clients and colleagues, developing close friendships and real bonds with them over months or even years.
“Often, these are the people who may notice signs that somebody is acting differently, being abused, or they may even hear of instances of abuse.
“The training is about offering people the knowledge of how they can help and what support is available in Wirral, so that people do not feel scared or overwhelmed with the worry of supporting someone who may be in an abusive relationship.”
The training, which is delivered to mixed groups of senior managers, managers and other staff involves a mix of informal training, advice and guidance about how to support staff, customers and community members who may be experiencing domestic abuse.
It aims to show people how best to ‘signpost’ people to the specialist and localised support available across Wirral – safely. We also provide advice and guidance for businesses to develop a domestic abuse policy with supporting processes.
Jill Barr continues: “This is about supporting business owners in Wirral who may be worried about their employees experiencing domestic abuse. Domestic abuse is still one of the biggest causes for staff sickness, stress and loss of productivity in the workplace.”
Cllr Tom Usher, Cabinet Member for Children Families and Education and chair of the Wirral Domestic Abuse Alliance said: “The fact that it is being embraced by the community and the businesses that are signing up is testament to the support that’s out there in our Borough – and the people who are willing to reach out and help others.”
Certificates were received on the day by representatives from Tranmere Rovers Football Club, Premier Care Ltd, Park Group, Wirral Hospice, Magenta Living, Maritime Cadets UK, Kare Plus and Heart Of Egremont community group. Further groups also received certificates but were unable to attend on the day including CPLG Training, Autism Together, Hope Place, Bei Capelli and John Alexandar Hair.
Interested in receiving a Domestic Abuse Business Quality Mark or becoming a Community Champion? Please send all enquiries to Jill Barr at Involve Northwest via email [email protected] or phone on 07495797477.
Looking for support?
- If you've been the victim of domestic abuse, or are concerned for someone who is, you can visit www.itsneverokwirral.org for information about the local resources and services available.
- In an emergency, if you’re concerned for your own or someone else’s immediate wellbeing, always dial 999. In non-emergency cases and for general advice, please call 101.