Giving Compass' Take:

• Lyndsey Dearlove explains how an app is helping employers support abuse victims who don't have the workplace as a safe space during stay-at-home orders.

• What are you doing to support abuse victims during the coronavirus? Why is it so critical for employers to be on-board with solutions for domestic violence during the pandemic?

• Learn more about how you can play a supportive role in supporting domestic abuse victims during COVID-19.

In the first three weeks of lockdown, fourteen women and two children were murdered by a current or ex-partner – an increase of 160%. Those experiencing abuse found themselves subjected to more severe control and abuse, with even less chance to get any time away from their abuser. Being unable to leave home made it harder to reach out to helplines and refuges quickly became full.

The workplace used to offer some measure of safety. So as more people work from home, the need for employers to be able to access confidential, good quality advice and support has become ever more apparent.

Hestia’s Everyone’s Business Advice Line is a confidential support line where employers can get advice to respond effectively to disclosures of domestic abuse by their employees, and signpost them to the appropriate local specialist domestic abuse services.

The Covid lockdown has made this service even more vital. During lockdown there was a 47% increase in downloads of Hestia’s Bright Sky app (which offers advice and signposting to people enduring domestic abuse) and an over 30% increase in people trying to access Hestia domestic abuse services throughout Covid-19 (May-June 2020).

Sometimes the only place of relative safety a person enduring domestic abuse has is their place of work, although research also shows that 75% of domestic abuse victims are still targeted whilst at work (Equality & Human Rights Commission). With this option now limited, having a support system and advice line that employers can call upon to help them navigate concerns, manage disclosures of domestic abuse in a safe way and access signposting information which can help keep people enduring domestic abuse and their support networks safe is more vital than ever.

Read the full article about how employers can support abuse victims by Lyndsey Dearlove at NPC.