Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council has been nationally recognised for its efforts to support employees affected by domestic abuse.
The council was one of five organisations presented with the inaugural ‘Everyone’s Business’ Accreditation Award by crisis support charity, Hestia, on Thursday 23 January.
The award recognises an employer’s role in identifying domestic abuse and responding quickly, effectively and with compassion.
Award winners were required to meet a range of criteria to demonstrate what they do to support employees. They include providing specialist awareness training, supporting a network of ‘champions’ who can support their colleagues in confidence as well as signposting to external support services, and policies which help staff at all levels to recognise and respond to signs of abuse – all of which the Council offers.
It also contracts specialist charity, Harbour, to provide a range of support services to anyone in Stockton-on-Tees affected by domestic abuse.
Leader of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, Councillor Bob Cook, said: “Everyone in our Borough, including our staff, deserves to live and work without fear. Sadly, domestic abuse is an issue which is still very much under-reported so we do all we can to encourage those affected to reach out for support.
“The ‘Everyone’s Business’ Accreditation Award recognises our ongoing commitment to help those in need whether you are a victim, a perpetrator or you are concerned about someone who may be experiencing domestic abuse. Nobody needs to suffer in silence. Our domestic abuse services are provided by Harbour, who have more than 40 years’ experience and have changed many lives for the better. You can access their services at any time in strict confidence and without judgement.”
Domestic abuse can take many forms including psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional abuse, stalking or harassment, and online abuse.
If you or someone you know is affected by it, contact Harbour’s 24-hour helpline 03000 20 25 25 or visit www.myharbour.org.uk.
And remember, if somebody is immediate danger call the police – dial 999.