New Workplace Guidance On Sexual Violence Welcomed

Belfast Lord Mayor, Councillor Deirdre Hargey, has welcomed new Workplace Guidance published by the Department of Health and Department of Justice on how employers can increase awareness and respond more effectively to domestic and sexual violence and abuse.

The Guidance was launched at an event in Belfast City Hall, attended by trade unions and statutory, voluntary and community sector colleagues who helped develop the Guidance.

Councillor Hargey welcomed the new guidelines saying the council's will be looking at them to see what additional best practice might be of benefit to our own staff. The Council already has a Workplace Policy on Domestic Violence and Abuse in place ensure staff know what support is available.
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An estimated one in four women and approximately one in nine men experience abuse at some stage of their life and the Lord Mayor said: "Whilst it is usually women who report experiencing domestic violence, it is becoming more common that men and partners in same-sex relationships can also be victims, and we need to be clear about that in all our communications and training regarding domestic violence and abuse.

"By increasing awareness of the signs of domestic abuse and providing a safe and supportive environment, the council can help an individual experiencing domestic abuse to increase their safety and to make changes in their home or work life to help them adjust positively to their circumstances and construct lives free from abuse," she added.

The Council was last week awarded a platinum Onus Workplace Charter Award on Domestic violence to recognise the additional support it has recently put in place for staff.

The latest Guidance from the Department of Health and Department of Justice is available on


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