In 2017-18, it is estimated that 1.3 million women and 695,000 men experienced domestic abuse and 595,000 women and 150,000 men experienced sexual violence in England. On a local level, there were an estimated 21,000 incidents of domestic abuse and 3,000 incidents of sexual violence in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly alone.
This year the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence was launched with an event at Truro Cathedral at 11am on Monday 25 November. The event raised awareness of this year’s focus on local businesses and Safer Cornwall’s campaign that will be run throughout the 16 days. It also highlighted and celebrated the support services available locally and formally launched Safer Cornwall’s Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Strategy 2019-2022.
Safer Cornwall is supporting the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence 2019, with a focus on local businesses. They are working with Safer Futures (delivered by First Light & Barnardos), supported further by local Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Services, to deliver awareness and identification training to local businesses.
Employers have a legal obligation to assess dynamic risk and support the health and safety and wellness of their employees. Companies can do more to support and assist their employees who endure domestic abuse and sexual violence, and to protect staff as a whole, with the goal of securing safety and mitigating financial loss.
Safer Cornwall is inviting local business to support their community and staff, by signing up to their new campaign; raising awareness of domestic abuse and sexual violence in our community and highlighting the local support services available to help. They are also offering guidance and information to assist managers in how to respond to staff, should they disclose domestic abuse or sexual violence at work; putting local businesses at the forefront of the fight to end domestic abuse and sexual violence.
Hair dressers, barbers and nail bars are their targeted businesses, as they want to provide additional provision in an environment that already provides staff and customers with comfortable and relaxing space, where people open up about their personal lives. These types of businesses are also a space that many people visit on their own, without their partner/ex-partner or family members.
Safer Cornwall is seeking to help local businesses create a culture where domestic abuse and sexual violence is not a stigmatised issue, but instead a place where people can ask direct questions and identify when someone may be experiencing domestic abuse and/or sexual violence. We will be offering staff basic training and providing businesses with discreet merchandise to display and distribute to staff and customers, with support and referral information.
In addition to the training and the merchandise, they are also offering businesses a Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Employee Policy template, to download and amend specific to individual businesses.
Spanning the 16 days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, from 25th November to 10th December, a theme will be identified and promoted each day to explore various forms of domestic abuse and sexual violence. In doing this, the workplace will be better equipped to acknowledge the signs that indicate it may be going on.
A full programme of events locally will be available and promoted through the Safer Cornwall Partnership, including the walk about dates in the 10 Safer Towns:
Truro – Monday 25 November
Camborne & Redruth – Tuesday 26 November
Penzance – Wednesday 27 November
Falmouth – Thursday 28 November
Liskeard – Friday 29 November
Newquay – Tuesday 3 December
Bodmin – Wednesday 4 December
St Austell – Thursday 5 December
Saltash – Friday 6 December