International Women's Day - Juno Women's Aid - Supporting Survivors at Work
As you may or may not know, I am a huge supporter of Juno Women's Aid in Nottingham, along with the many other organisations across the UK, who are working so hard to keep those suffering from domestic abuse, safe and supported. More than ever, these under resourced, specialist services are in desperate demand during the current Coronavirus pandemic.
I feel that I should apologise here, as I really wasn't going to talk about the dreaded 'C word' at all during this blog, I had simply intended to share with you, my recent experience at the excellent 'Supporting Survivors at Work Conference event' hosted by Juno Women's Aid on 5th March 2020.
Capital One are also worth a mention here, and were a huge support in the run up to the event and during it. They let us use their venue and were very interested in working together with Juno to support vulnerable customers of theirs. On a side, and totally irrelevant note, I will personally be giving them top marks for their delicious pastries on arrival. I really shouldn't I know, but sadly did - twice!
So, what was it all about? and why did I take the time out of the business to support them?
With one-third of a working adult's life spent in the workplace, it places businesses in a unique position to help identify and support employees who may be survivors of domestic abuse through a workplace culture addressing the health and well-being of its staff.
Throughout the breakfast meeting, we learned about the impact of domestic abuse on employees, what policies and safeguarding procedures can save lives, and understand how a collaborative approach to tackling this ever-present social issue can help employees, and businesses, thrive. That’s the business case of course, but more importantly, shouldn’t we? Why wouldn’t we?
The sobering facts;
Domestic abuse affects 1 in 4 women, 1 in 6 men and 75% of people in the UK's workplaces.
Shockingly, in Nottingham, domestic abuse affects 1 in 3 women.
I'd like to thank Juno Women's Aid for inviting the following guest speakers to bring us bang up to date on what employers can do to help;
- Fiona Bowman, MD of Dysart 57 Ltd and international domestic abuse campaigner,
- Ruth Mason, Business Development Lead at Women's Aid England,
- Nicola Wade, Head of Commissioning from Nottinghamshire office of the Police and Crime Commissioner,
More about the speakers;
"You might have a Fiona in your workplace... you might save a life."
Fiona Bowman is a successful businesswoman, MD of facilities management consultancy, Dysart 57 Ltd, an international domestic abuse campaigner and speaker at Supporting Survivors at Work.
From her roots in the small Scottish village of Dysart in Fife, aged 17, she left home and went to Edinburgh to take up a place on a nursing course. Here she met Derek and subsequently endured 10 years in a violent and abusive relationship with him.
In 1985, with the help of her employers, she escaped and started a new life in London.
Her book, "Did I Wake You, Pet?" is now on my list of 'must reads' and I will let you know what I thought of it.
As the Business Development Lead for Women's Aid England, Ruth is an organisational development expert, supporting quality women's services and developing the expert interventions accompanying the Women's Aid and Welsh Women's Aid "Change that Lasts" model.
Nicola is the Head of Commissioning at Nottinghamshire Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner. Her background comes from building strategic relationships across sectors, developing and commissioning new services and providing support to Nottingham's police force.
Update from Juno:
Juno's key messages and response to COVID-19 for survivors, friends and family members, and professionals.
• Our 24-hour freephone helpline is still operational, but with limited capacity. We are asking that if it's possible, people email our helpline firstname.lastname@example.org, otherwise, please call 0808 800 0340, but wait times are expected.
• All face-to-face contact has been suspended. This includes: The Freedom Programme, Stronger Families, Escape The Trap, work in schools and volunteer programmes. Where possible, support is being offered via 1-1 telephone calls.
• Staff are in daily contact with survivors and their families in refuge as part of ongoing support.
Thank you for your time