Over the summer our Chairman, Nick Gazzard, delivered a whole day of Working Without Fear workshops to 12 senior members of staff at Hartpury College who are responsible for safeguarding.
Working Without Fear is a tailored programme designed to show employers the vital role they play with regard to safeguarding their staff through training, education and raising awareness of the issues.
78 per cent of male perpetrators of domestic violence use workplace resources, while 79 per cent of male stalkers will use these same resources to target a victim. Frighteningly, 75 per cent of domestic violence stalkers will turn up at a victim’s place of work. Figures also show that 50 per cent of stalking victims have curtailed or stopped work due to stalking, while 20 per cent of employed women take time off work because of domestic abuse. These are worrying statistics surrounding issues that need raising, addressing and eventually, eradicating. Employers need to take responsibility for the health and wellbeing of their employees, whether they recognise them as vulnerable or not. Many victims hide what they are going through for an extremely long time and if someone can hide abuse from friends and family, it follows that they can hide it from their work colleagues and employer.
Lesley Worsfold, Director of HR and Residential Services at Hartpury University & Hartpury College said: ‘’Twelve of Hartpury College staff attended the ‘Working Without Fear’ full day training course at the end of June. The course was insightful, thought provoking as well as hard hitting. When Nick presented the statistics regarding domestic abuse and violence, you could have heard a pin drop in the room as these statistics were a real eye opener for many of us on the course. Everyone who attended found the session incredibly powerful and feedback was excellent. All those who attended work closely with either staff or students and it will certainly influence our approach in supporting and encouraging those who may be victims of domestic violence and abuse, coercive control and stalking to seek help. I would really recommend other workplaces to support ‘Working Without Fear’ and sign the Employer Pledge. It will make a difference.’’
Nick said: ‘’It has been great to engage with Hartpury on this project. Not only are they really taking the initiative with their staff but also for the students too. This is why Working Without Fear was developed, to transfer skills and know-how to businesses to ultimately help their staff avoid any situation like Hollie found herself in. Lesley and the team were really enthusiastic and took the workshops seriously. I’m looking forward to continuing to work with them.‘’
The Working Without Fear program continues to pick up momentum, with businesses and universities across the UK identifying that these statistics are not somebody else’s problem and are taking responsibility for their staff wellbeing.