VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
THE EASTERN REGION WOMEN'S COMMITTEE
Violence against Women is a trade union issue. The information
and advice provided here from the Eastern Region Women's
Committee is intended to help UNISON branches; officers and
stewards understand some of the issues and provide the support
needed by members experiencing that abuse. We also hope we
have provided some helpful information to women recipients of
violence, we want to be able to say to all such members - you are
Violence against women is a complex issue and while the authors
have attempted to cover all aspects in this document, we recognise
that there may be some areas which have been missed. However
this is a living document that will be regularly reviewed and we
welcome helpful suggestions for improvement.
Domestic abuse and other forms of violence against women are
most commonly perpetrated by men against women.
Consequently, in this document we refer to the perpetrator
throughout as „he‟. However, the information in this handbook
relates equally to survivors of same sex violence.
Kofi Annan said “Violence against women is perhaps the most
shameful human rights violation. And it is perhaps the most
pervasive. It knows no boundaries of geography, culture or wealth.
As long as it continues, we cannot claim to be making real
progress towards equality, development and peace”
Why is domestic abuse a trade union issue? .................................................. 7
What is domestic abuse ................................................................................ ..8-10
Why do we call it Domestic Abuse ............................................................. …11-13
Women Experiencing Abuse in Same Sex Relationships…………………….14-15
Facts about domestic abuse ............................................................................ 16
Why do women stay? ....................................................................................... 17
What can UNISON do? ...................................................................................... 18
What branches can do ................................................................................. ….19-20
Women's refuges .............................................................................................. 21
Other forms of violence against women …………………………………………22-26
Is domestic abuse a part of your life? ....................................................... …..27-29
Additional Useful Information .......................................................................... 30
Housing ........................................................................................................ …..31-32
Surviving Abuse : Life after abuse .................................................................. 33
Women with disabilities ................................................................................... 34
Contacts and campaigning groups ........................................................... …. 35-37
Appendix A - Model Domestic Abuse Policy…………………………………… 39-46
Why is domestic abuse a trade union issue?
At first sight, domestic violence or abuse seems to be a personal issue, concerned with
people's private lives and nothing to do with trade unionism. But domestic abuse is so
widespread that without doubt there are many members of UNISON whom it affects, and
whose lives and work are overshadowed by it. Some may be members of your branch.
Domestic abuse can affect job performance, and therefore job prospects and security. It
threatens the health and safety of those who suffer. It can threaten their lives. It is one
of the most extreme forms of oppression a woman can experience.
The effects of domestic abuse, like those of harassment in the workplace, can be far-
reaching. Home and work issues cannot always be neatly separated, especially for a
woman. Just as trade unionists we try to support our members facing other forms of
discrimination - such as black members threatened with deportation - so we need to find
ways to help UNISON members who experience the discrimination of domestic abuse.
What is Domestic Abuse?
'Domestic abuse' is generally used to refer to abusive or violent behaviour between
partners or ex-partners. More often than not, the abuser is a man, the abused a woman,
though there are exceptions. Children may be involved, too, either suffering or
witnessing the abuse, as may other family members, either as victims or abusers
The abuse may be emotional, verbal, psychological, sexual or physical, or a
combination. It is estimated that as many as one in four women may experience some
form of abuse from a partner or ex-partner. It affects women of all classes, ages, races
and religions as well as lesbians, bisexual and transgendered women.
For purposes of data collection on incidence of domestic violence, the Government has
agreed a core definition:
“Any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological,
physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been
intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality.”
Domestic abuse is typically an ongoing pattern of abusive and controlling behaviour,
which can take many forms. It can be:
* Physical * Sexual * Emotional
* Psychological * Financial * Imposed isolation
and is often a combination of all of these.
Different terms may be used - “violence”; “abuse”; “battering”; “violence by known men”;
“domestic violence” and “abuse in the home”. Some terms may appear too comfortable,
and tend to minimise and marginalise the impact and effect of the actions. It is important
to remember the vast range of abusive behaviour:
E.g. hitting; slapping; punching; kicking; hair pulling; throwing things; pinching; burning;
Stabbing; “fun” fights that hurt; hitting with implements; biting; ripping clothes; strangling;
Pushing; restraining; shaking; twisting limbs; gun shots and cutting to cause
E.g. rape or being forced to participate in humiliating sexual acts; denial of rape; any
sexual act the woman does not want to participate in with or without (additional) physical
violence; using or forcing to watch pornographic videos or magazines or being forced to
participate in the production; different standards of fidelity; denigrating/denying woman‟s
sexuality; having to conform to a man‟s concept of a woman‟s attractiveness; being
offensive about how a woman looks; withholding sex; sexual insults; having other
relationships; child sexual abuse, the idea that man “owns” a woman‟s body;
comparisons; talking about her body to others; making fun of her body; having sex even
when she is ill; sexual expectations from his family; sex in inappropriate places (e.g. in
front of the children); forcing her to sleep with his friends and enforced prostitution.
E.g. hiding things and then denying it; preventing contact with family and friends;
claiming the children will be removed if anyone is told about the abuse; trapped in the
fear; threatening with words; intimidating body language; constantly saying you‟re crazy;
judgemental attitude; taking you to places you don‟t like; not knowing what mood he‟s in;
creating uncertainty - not knowing what‟s going to happen next;, him telling you are
cold/frigid; making you wait for decisions; Jekyll and Hyde behaviour; changing his mind;
hurtful words; denying the children are his; shaming/undermining (e.g. you are stupid,
useless, ugly); excessive demands; deliberately encouraging dependency and using
your mobile phone so he can monitor your 24 hours a day.
E.g. constantly ridiculing or criticising someone; threatening violence; denial of
autonomy or self-value; withholding affection; not acknowledging needs of woman and
children; threatening children; belittling; family mood set by abuser (abuser-centric
criticism; picking on weak spots; playing on fears; saying her body is ugly; saying she‟s
ignorant; talking sexually about other women; shouting; swearing; using the children as
ammunition; silent treatment; dressing to annoy; questioning - not trusting; put-downs;
mood swings; lying/deceit; manipulation; remorse; total projection or blame; other
relationships; name calling; humiliating her in public; playing on community and cultural
fears and playing with her emotions with a manipulative agenda.
E.g. depriving someone of money or refusing to pay bills so the woman goes hungry or
lives in fear of the electricity or gas being cut off; not sharing money; withholding money;
loaning money to keep control; not taking responsibility for bills; stealing money
(household or children's); deliberately running up debts; control over expenditure; not
supporting children; spending on gambling or drink; depriving of money; making her
work to earn money for him; not allowing her to work; him claiming all the benefits;
blaming her for lack of money; selling her possessions and buying unnecessary things.
E.g. not being allowed to see others alone; not being allowed to see who she wants to
see; being obnoxious; hostile or aggressive to friends; guilt about having an “abnormal”
relationship; being locked in; denied clothes; phone cut off; not being able to seek help;
Language; stopping phone calls; opening letters; cajoling her to remain silent; keeping
her money so she can‟t get out; using pregnancy to keep her at home; locking doors;
monitoring her movements; using children to imply she should stay at home; not
supporting her with childcare and controlling her contact with children.
Why Do We Call it Domestic Abuse?
Violence is violence so why do we call violence that happens in the home “domestic”
abuse? Doesn‟t this just trivialise the seriousness of it?
One of the reasons is that calling it “domestic” abuse differentiates it from “stranger”
violence and thus allows us to explore some of the crucial differences. It is important to
acknowledge these differences because they can help us to understand why women
may respond to their experiences in a certain way.
Some differences are:
∗ The victim/survivor and the perpetrator are known to one another which means that
feelings of betrayal of trust may be involved. Usually, the people involved live or
used to live together.
∗ Unlike stranger violence, domestic abuse occurs overwhelmingly in private and
behind closed doors. This allows perpetrators to argue in court that they are “not a
danger to the general public”.
∗ “Outsiders” tend, on the whole, to take domestic abuse less seriously and are
more likely to seek to blame the victim/survivor for the occurrence.
∗ Domestic abuse rarely happens once, and tends to increase in frequency or
severity over time. The victim/survivor may find that challenging the abuse on
her own leads to an increase in abuse from the perpetrator.
∗ The perpetrator has on-going access to the victim/survivor which has implications
for which options for action are safe.
∗ Often the victim/survivor has feelings of care towards her assailant and hopes that
he will change. This makes the situations very complex and means that there are
rarely simple solutions.
∗ The abuser knows how to get to her, how to hurt her, often in subtle ways that may
not be understood by others.
∗ Injuries can be easily targeted on places where they are not seen.
Attacks are often presented as momentary loss of control, but are more likely to be part
of a continuous pattern of threats, bullying and assaults which are used to maintain
power and control. They are the legacy of women being seen as objects or as property,
and abusive partners are often protected by myths and stereotypes.
The very term 'domestic' implies a marital squabble, a private and personal matter which
merits no intervention from outside, rather than a pernicious - and possibly life-
threatening - social evil. The abusive man may be excused by society: perhaps he was
reacting to his wife's 'nagging'. The woman may be blamed for 'bringing it on herself' or
being 'addicted' to violence. This is a myth: the responsibility for abuse lies with the
The effects of domestic abuse can only be outlined here, but anyone who wants to help
a woman experiencing domestic abuse needs to be aware that these effects may be
both far-reaching and long-term, possibly lasting years after the abuse took place.
A woman experiencing domestic abuse may feel afraid, ashamed and unable to confide
in others or to seek help. Brutalised women often lack self-confidence and self-esteem,
yet still feel responsible for keeping the family together and for maintaining relationships.
Family, friends and outside organisations may reinforce these feelings. The woman may
be too frightened of the abuser and his power, real or imagined, to leave.
Women from other cultures, black and minority ethnic women, have to face racism and
additional stereotyping. Language barriers can intensify the difficulty and humiliation in
communicating about abusive experience. The real or perceived threat of deportation
may be used. Benefits and housing may not be available. A reluctance to feed racist
stereotypes may help maintain loyalty to a partner, perhaps with additional pressure
from an extended family network not to leave. There may be pressure from the
community not to be open about such issues which can make contacting the police and
other statutory agencies even more difficult.
Disabled women can be particularly vulnerable to abuse and violence. They can even
experience it at the hands of their principal carer, who may expect tolerance of such
abuse as a form of gratitude for being helped. Women with disabilities may fear
isolation if they leave. The lack of accessible refuges and temporary accommodation,
the scarcity of information on tape or in Braille, and the unavailability of signers may
compound the problems which disabled women fleeing abuse face.
Lesbians who experience domestic abuse have reported little sympathy from others.
The judiciary tends to view a man's abuse against an ex-partner who is lesbian as
justifiably provoked. For lesbians with children, fear of the outcome of 'custody' hearings
may make it even harder to complain. A woman who experiences abuse at the hands of
another woman may find it impossible to break the silence in a society which is looking
for any excuse to condemn relationships between women.
Women Experiencing Abuse in Same Sex Relationships
It is a myth for people to think that abuse in same sex relationships doesn‟t occur; it is a
fact that at least one in four people in same sex relationships will experience abuse in a
relationship in their lifetime.
One of the major barriers to recognising abuse in same sex relationships is that the
abuse has traditionally been portrayed as a heterosexual issue with „male perpetrators‟
and „female victims‟, in addition there has been a strong feeling in the lesbian community
that lesbians are not violent – however studies show that as many as a third of lesbians
have been victims of sexual assault or coercion at the hands of another woman.
Women in same sex relationships experience the same issues of power & control as
heterosexual couples which may manifest itself as physical, sexual, verbal & economic
abuse. However, emotional abuse, compared to physical or sexual abuse, is more
common in same sex relationships in the UK making the abuse much more difficult to
Many women in same sex relationships do not seek formal help with the issues that they
are facing, preferring to use more informal means, which means police intervention for
instance is less likely than for heterosexuals experiencing abuse in their relationships.
Plus, women in same sex relationships could be facing additional problems of not being
„out‟ to family, friends, at work etc and there may well be children from previous
relationships involved that they would be seeking to protect. This could lead to women in
same sex relationships feeling powerless to do anything about their situation for fear of
being isolated by other women in the same close knit community, not believed by those
in authority, being „outed‟, losing their home, their own children or access to those
children that they are co-parenting with their same sex partner.
Whilst some of the advice to women finding themselves in this situation will be the same
as for those in heterosexual relationships, it must be recognised that for many women
experiencing abuse in a same sex relationship their abuse may have been that of a
emotional one over a very long period of time and the type of specialist intervention
required may not be the same as for those in heterosexual relationships. This may
necessitate the need to signpost such women to specialist agencies such as Broken
An additional issue that would need to be considered where women find themselves in
the situation of leaving their same sex perpetrator and accessing a womens refuge, is
how their continuing safety is managed by the refuge. Womens refuges are, in the main,
geared up and used to dealing with women escaping abusive heterosexual
relationships, they may not be so adept at addressing the specific needs and risks
associated with a women fleeing an abusive same sex relationship. If the refuge isn‟t
made aware of the specific circumstances around the nature of the relationship then it is
possible that their female perpetrator can gain access to the refuge, they are not
automatically seen as a threat in the way that a male perpetrator is. Specific risk
assessments and protection measures would need to be undertaken when a woman in
these circumstances enters the safety of a refuge.
Facts About Domestic Abuse
Any woman can be abused. She might be any woman you come into contact
with - your sister, your daughter, your mother, your friend, your workmate or your
neighbour. It is mainly working class women who use refuges as they often have
less access to money or other places to go.
No-one 'deserves' being beaten up or mentally tortured, or the abuse women
going to refuges have received. The so-called provocation has often been simply
to ask for money for food, not have a meal ready on time etc. Women often
blame themselves at first but there is no justification for abuse.
Some men may have been drinking when they are violent, but drink can provide
an easy excuse. It can also be easier for a women to believe that a man wouldn't
have hit her if he were sober. There isn't one type of man who beats a woman.
Domestic abuse cannot be blamed on alcohol alone.
Women stay in violent homes for reasons ranging from love to terror. There are
also practical reasons why many women do not leave. They may be afraid of
further assaults if they seek help. They may be worried about money to support
themselves and their children. They may be worried about losing their home,
their possessions, and even their children. They may fear the poverty and
isolation of living as a single parent family.
Despite all of these problems, the fact that more and more women are coming to
the Union and Women's Aid is a testimony to the fact that they are not prepared
to put up with this sort of treatment any longer.
Violence by a man against a woman he lives with commonly includes rape,
pulling her hair, punching or hitting her, and even attempting to strangle her. The
mental abuse can include depriving her of money for food and clothes, keeping
her a virtual prisoner in the home, depriving her of sleep, constantly telling her
she is ugly, stupid or useless, and threatening her with violence. The woman
may live in constant fear.
Why do women stay?
For those not involved, it can be hard to understand why a woman does not simply
leave, or why, having left, she may return, with the process sometimes repeated several
Women stay for many reasons ranging from love to terror. A woman may have to face
the prospect of living in temporary accommodation, on benefits and in fear of having her
children taken into care. Leaving may mean relocating to a unfamiliar area away from
family and friends.
Leaving is an extreme action requiring just the strength and resourcefulness that may
have been eroded by fear and despair. A woman may hope against hope that her
partner will change and that the family can stay together. A violent partner may exhibit
periods of loving behaviour and show genuine remorse. Only when the salvaging
strategies are exhausted is a woman likely to consider leaving. She may be threatened
with reprisals: 50% of fleeing women are followed, many suffer further abuse and some
are even murdered. Difficulties with housing and money, as well as the range of
emotional pressures, often force a woman to return to an abusive partner; leaving again
may cease to be an option.
Displays of confusion and emotional paralysis may lead others to judge that the abuse is
not happening or is not serious; the woman may want to believe that too. An abused
woman needs to be believed and supported to make changes at her own pace, with the
benefit of reliable information about the choices open to her and the unambiguous
message that abusive behaviour is intolerable.
It is important to understand that leaving an abusive relationship is not a single act but a
What can UNISON do?
As part of its fight against discrimination and oppression, UNISON is committed at all
levels to destroying the myths which legitimise the cruelty experienced by so many
women in their relationship. Women members who are abused should be in no doubt
that UNISON is there to support them personally at all levels - locally and nationally -
through campaigning and lobbying on the issues to change the way abused women are
treated. Raising awareness of domestic abuse and its effects with members and with
employers is of paramount importance.
The National Women's Committee is committed to campaigning for improvements in the
law and the provision of adequately resourced social support for abused women.
Employers and professional associations should be setting standards in the way
domestic abuse cases are dealt with, and those responsible for negotiating improved
service conditions should put this issue on their agenda.
What branches can do
Branches can raise the issues of domestic abuse and its effects with the employers,
among the membership and with activists. A support system for members experiencing
domestic abuse could be established. The branch women's group might undertake its
co-ordination, perhaps with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered members' and
black members' groups, or it might be easier to initiate at regional level. The branch
should make sure that this support is well publicised so that any woman wanting to get
in touch knows whom to approach directly, without having to ask stewards or branch
officers who may not be directly involved. The support needed is likely to be both
personal and practical.
What branches can negotiate with employers
Branches should put the following issues on the negotiating agenda with
reassurance that any woman seeking help will be assisted in the strictest
reassurance for a woman suffering domestic abuse that her job is secure, with
help to minimise the disruption in her life
job flexibility, with understanding about the possible need to work irregular hours
and for special paid leave
no penalisation through sickness absence monitoring policies
if redeployment is requested, everything should be done to achieve it at no cost to
the woman, and her new working location should not be revealed
provision of independent and confidential counselling at no cost to the woman
and in working hours
adequate facility time for members of the branch involved in supporting a woman
appropriate training and awareness raising for managers and personnel officers
so that they are able to support staff experiencing abuse and deal with any
associated intimidation of colleagues if the abuser visits the woman's workplace
joint negotiating machinery so that branches can encourage employers to
develop guidelines and good practice on domestic abuse, not just for their staff
but also the community, working in conjunction both with UNISON and
appropriate outside agencies, such as Women's Aid
effective publicity about all these service conditions to all staff.
See Appendix A for model domestic abuse policy
There are a number of practical measures which branches should consider:
making information on existing services available, with a stock of appropriate
obtaining emergency welfare funds to assist a woman's flight;
establishing links with local agencies, such as Women's Aid, legal aid solicitor,
the housing advice centre, a local rape crisis centre (contacts should be available
in the telephone directory, through your local authority or public library, or see the
Contacts section on page 24)
support a local refuge and lobby for its support by local authorities and others;
affiliating to appropriate national campaigns and their local groups (see page 24);
negotiating appropriate agreements with employers (see Appendix A).
The Women's Aid Federation not only provides refuges, but also valuable advice and
information to women in other temporary accommodation and to outside organisations
dealing with domestic abuse. Refuges have been specifically established for black and
minority ethnic women. Some refuges also provide outreach counselling services.
Refuges provide safe emergency accommodation for women and children who need
protection from abuse. Some women think refuges are overcrowded noisy places. In
reality they are much like any home, sometimes spotless and quiet, sometimes not.
What they can offer is support both from the workers in the refuge and from the other
women staying there.
Refuges are run based on women's understanding and experience of domestic abuse.
The workers in the refuges can offer information, advice and support on, for instance,
the police, the courts, the council, and other agencies that you may need to deal with.
The practical support provided by the refuge workers can be backed up by the emotional
support of other women staying there. The addresses of refuges are confidential - this is
essential if women and children are to be safe.
Refuges are shared houses. You may have your own room, or you may need to share a
room, and you will certainly share communal areas - kitchen, bathrooms, sitting rooms.
The physical conditions of refuges vary greatly. Women often say that the biggest
pressure is the lack of privacy. Ideally, women should stay no longer than three months,
but lack of suitable and affordable accommodation to move on to means that women
can spend up to a year (sometimes longer) in a refuge. Refuges accept any women,
with or without children (though some don't take boys over 12 years), who have
experienced, or been threatened with, abuse from men. You do not have to be living
Other forms of Violence against Women
Female Genital Mutilation
Refers to "all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia
or other injury to the female genital organs whether for cultural, religious or other non-
therapeutic reasons." The term is almost exclusively used to describe traditional,
cultural, and religious procedures where parents must give consent, due to the minor
age of the subject, rather than to procedures generally done with self-consent (such as
labiaplasty and vaginoplasty). It also generally does not refer to procedures used in
gender reassignment surgery, and the genital modification of intersexuals.
Estimates show that around 66,000 women resident in England and Wales had
been subjected to FGM.
In 2004 there were around 30,500 estimates number of maternities in England
and Wales to women likely to have undergone FGM.
An estimated 24,000 girls and women are at high risk or may have already
undergone FGM, type III (infibulation with excision - extensive tissue removal of
the external genitalia, including all of the labia minora and the inside of the labia
majora. The labia majora are then held together. Nothing remains but the walls of
flesh from the pubis down to the anus, with the exception of an opening at the
inferior portion of the vulva to allow urine and menstrual blood to pass through);
and around 9,000 are at high risk or may have undergone FGM, type II. (The
WHO's definition of Type II FGM is "partial or total removal of the clitoris and the
labia minora, with or without excision of the labia majora [excision]).
UK legislation on FGM
Prohibition of „Female Circumcision‟ Act came into force in 1985: make it an offence to
carry out or to aid, or procure the performance by another person, of any form of FGM,
except for specific medical purpose.
„Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003‟: introduced the issue of territoriality. It makes it an
offence for FGM to be carried out anywhere on UK nationals or permanent residents.
Rape and Sexual Assault
Rape is one of the most horrific events anybody can experience. According to the British
Crime Survey, it is the crime that women fear more than any other. The Sexual Offences
Act (2003) is the first major overhaul of sexual offences legislation for more than a
century. Under the act the following definitions now apply:
Rape - Rape is now classified as penetration by the penis of somebody‟s vagina, anus
or mouth, without their consent. Rape can be committed against men or women, but
since it involves penile penetration it is only committed by men.
Assault by penetration - Under this law, it is an offence to penetrate the anus or vagina
of someone else with any part of the body or with an object, if the penetration is sexual
and if the person does not consent.
Sexual assault - This law covers any kind of intentional sexual touching of somebody
else without their consent. It includes touching any part of their body, clothed or
unclothed, either with your body or with an object.
Causing a person to engage in a sexual activity without consent - This law covers
any kind of sexual activity without consent. For instance it would apply to a woman who
forces a man to penetrate her, or an abuser who makes their victim engage in
Administering a substance with intent – It is now a separate offence to give someone
any substance – for instance spiking their drink – without their consent, and with the
intention of stupefying them so that sexual activity can take place. In this instance,
sexual activity could include stripping someone or taking pornographic photos of them.
Someone can be charged with this offence on top of any separate charge for rape or
sexual assault. They can also be charged when the intended sexual activity did not take
place, for instance when someone sees what is going on and intervenes to stop it.
Other „intent‟ offences - Two new laws – „committing an offence with intent‟ and
„trespass with intent‟ – cover situations where abusers commit one offence (such as
violence, trespass, or detaining someone against their will) with the intention of then
committing a sexual offence.
Other offences - Other offences under the Act include exposure (or „flashing‟),
voyeurism, sex in public toilets, and sex with animals or with corpses. Voyeurism is a
new offence which applies to watching people without their consent when they are
involved in private acts. It includes setting up, viewing or recording people through
electronic equipment such as webcams or cameras.
An „honour crime‟ can be defined as any act of violence and abuse, actual or threatened,
perpetrated against individuals, mainly women, usually by male members of the family
and community in defence of their honour. Although men are the main perpetrators of
honour crimes, women are not excluded from exercising oppression and carrying out
murder. Honour crimes take many forms, including so-called „honour killings‟, forced
marriage and unlawful confinement and strict restrictions on women‟s movement. The
supposed justification for such abuse is derived from the perceived or actual behaviour
or attitude of the victim, which is seen to have dishonoured their family, tribe or
community. Common “provocations” include exercising freedom of choice in forming
love relationships, pre-marital sex, seeking divorce and suspicion of infidelity. According
to the UN over 5000 women and girls are killed globally every year by family members in
so-called 'honour killings'.
Forced marriage is a marriage without the full and free consent of both parties: it is a
form of domestic violence and an abuse of human rights. Forced marriages are not
arranged marriages. In an arranged marriage the family will take the lead in arranging
the match but the couples have a choice as to whether to proceed. In a forced marriage
there is no choice.
UK Legislation on Forced Marriage
The Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act was given royal assent in July 2007. The act
offers civil remedies to protect victims or potential victims of forced marriage, and
protection to those already in such marriages.
Intense pressure to abort can come from husbands, parents, doctors, partners,
counsellors, or close friends and family. They may threaten or blackmail a woman into
abortion. These are not idle threats. Coercion can escalate to violence. Women who
resist abortion have been beaten, tortured and killed. Abortion must always be a
woman‟s personal choice, and not a decision arrived at through any kind of coercion.
Sexual trafficking is the movement of human beings for sexual exploitation. It is defined
in international law by the United Nations Protocol to prevent, suppress and punish
trafficking in persons especially women and children (2000) commonly known as the
Palermo Protocol. Sex trafficking involves the recruitment and transportation of persons
by means of threats, force, other means of coercion, deception or the abuse of power.
Various forms of gender-based discrimination increase the risk of women and girls
becoming affected by poverty, which in turns puts them at higher risk of becoming
targeted by traffickers, who use false promises of jobs and educational opportunities to
recruit their victims. Trafficking is often connected to organized crime and has developed
into a highly profitable business. It is now estimated that up to 18,000 females, including
girls as young as 14, are working in brothels across Britain after being smuggled into the
country to meet the booming demand for prostitutes.
A sex-trafficked woman will encounter at least one of these degradations during the
course of her trafficking ordeal – she will
be deceived or duped by a relative or informal family contact – often previously
subjected to sexual abuse or domestic violence
be intimidated and humiliated, drugged or beaten
be held hostage
be sold on
endure rape from her pimp
be forced to have sex with others for money – sometimes 10-15 times a day
attempt self harm
lose her identity – have her passport and travel papers removed
In country trafficking In the UK this includes sophisticated methods of targeting girls as
young as 11 or 12. Younger men, often teenagers themselves, will befriend girls in
places where young people naturally congregate – such as shopping malls, video
arcades, fast food outlets, parks or even outside schools. Children from any background
can be targeted. The girls are then passed up the hierarchy and may be entangled in
violent sexual abuse, in flats or other places by the time they are 13.
Hate Crimes against women involved in prostitution
Several UK studies have shown that women working in the sex industry experience
higher levels of violence than women in the general population. The majority of street
prostitutes surveyed in the UK have experienced multiple incidents of client violence.
Too often, violence against prostitutes is not taken seriously. Poor relationships with the
police mean that attacks are often not reported: recent studies in Glasgow, Edinburgh
and Leeds for example found that only 34% of prostitutes had reported any attack to the
police. Members of the public are rarely willing to come to the assistance of prostitutes if
they hear a disturbance; police do not always respond quickly or appropriately; the
suspect may not be remanded in custody, thus leaving the victim prey to intimidation
and reprisals; state prosecutors may deem prostitutes unreliable witnesses and refuse to
pursue the case; defence lawyers will attack the truthfulness and reliability of the
women, and juries may be unwilling to convict perpetrators.
Prostitutes continue to be murdered at the rate of approximately six each year in the
United Kingdom. Standardised mortality rates for prostitutes are six times those seen in
the general population (18 for murder), the highest for any group of women. Death and
violence are but part of a spectrum of physical and emotional morbidity endured. There
have been a number of high-profile murders of prostitutes over recent years: for
example, between 2 and 12 December 2006, the bodies of five young women - Gemma
Adams, Tania Nicol, Anneli Alderton, Paula Clennell, and Annette Nicholls (aged 19-29
years) - were discovered near Ipswich.
For more information on UNISON‟s policy position on prostitution please see our
Is Domestic Abuse a part of your life?
Many women are put off talking to anyone about domestic abuse for a variety of
reasons, but it can be useful to seek advice and support. Going along to the local drop-
in group or talking to family or friends can help you decide what to do about the abuse.
Change for an abusive man involves more than stopping being violent, it also means
giving up the other forms of control he has used - threats, humiliation, controlling you
through money, limiting what you can and cannot do. If you want to end the abuse but
are trying to save your relationship, you should check out where you can get support
and where you could escape to in an emergency.
Working out what you would do in a crisis is a way of taking control. We have listed
some ideas here that you could incorporate into your own crisis plan.
Planning for Safety/Planning to Leave if Necessary
• Tell neighbours, family and friends about the abuse and ask them to call the police if
they hear suspicious noises or haven‟t heard from you as expected.
• Find somewhere you can quickly and easily use the phone eg. neighbour, work.
• Make and carry with you always a list of numbers for emergencies – not just keeping
numbers in your mobile phone which you might not have with you. Include friends,
relatives, police, Women‟s Aid (even well known numbers can be forgotten in a panic).
• Keep a record/diary of incidents as they happen, to ensure that you don‟t forget, and
for future evidence, if needed.
• When abuse begins avoid areas of the house where risk is greater eg. Kitchen
(potential weapons), Bathroom (no exit).
• Try to save some money for fares and other expenses. Open up an account in your
sole name for it, if possible.
• Have an extra set of keys made for home, car etc. and keep them with you always or
store them somewhere safe.
• Make up a bag of things to take, including the phone numbers, diary of incidents, keys,
money, clothes etc. and keep it safe so that you can take it quickly, or give it to a friend
who can keep it safe. Add to it any of the items listed later, if/when you can.
• If possible, depending on their age, talk to your children about their own safety and
about the possibility of having to leave. They probably know more about what‟s going
on than you think, and may be imagining the worst and needing explanations.
What to take with you if possible
• Legal and financial papers, marriage and birth certificates, court orders, passports,
driving licence, rent/mortgage details, unpaid bills.
• Benefit books, bank books, cheque books, credit cards.
• Phone card, mobile or change for a pay phone; address book, own keys and keys for
friends‟ and relatives‟ houses.
• Medical records, National Health cards and any medicine you and your children need.
• Personal possessions of sentimental value, such as jewellery, address book and
• Favourite toys, blankets and possessions for the children, plus school books for older
• Identification which might help others to protect you from him, such as a recent photo
of him, his car registration.
• Your diary of the abuse, crime numbers, names and numbers of agencies contacted.
• Clothes for yourself and your children for several days.
When You Leave
• Try and leave when he is not around.
• Try to take all your children with you, whatever you think the long term arrangements
• Make sure you get any “Location Service” on your or your children‟s mobile phones
switched off by the service provider so that your whereabouts can‟t be traced.
If you do leave and need to go back to collect things, you can always arrange for the
police to accompany you when you go.
Additional Useful Information
If your children opt to live with their father and you work, the Child Support
Agency may require you to pay towards their upkeep.
You do not have to pay Council Tax if you are living in temporary
There is no public register for Council Tax so you cannot be traced by this
If you have joint bank accounts or credit cards, you need to contact the relevant
bank or financial institution and ask them to remove your name from the account.
This will stop you being responsible for any bills or overdrafts which the abuser
If you leave your home and bills are in your name (e.g. Gas, Telephone),
remember to inform the relevant organisations that you no longer live at that
If you are working or thinking of working, it is important that you tell your tax office
if you leave the relationship, as you may be entitled to earn more money before
you start paying tax.
Having nowhere else to live and the fear of homelessness are often major reasons why
women feel unable to leave men who are being violent, or return to them after leaving.
Taking steps to ensure that you can remain in your home safely or finding alternative
housing is often the most important factor in enabling women to leave abusive men.
If you are a council tenant you should contact your area housing office. The staff will be
able to advise you and discuss what options are available to you. If you live in council
property you will have more rights if your name is on the tenancy. If you are in
private rented accommodation or are an owner occupier, you should get advice about
your rights to the property and your access to it. If you are a housing association tenant
check your tenancy agreement and contact your local housing association office.
If you are getting a divorce, jointly owned property will be treated as part of the divorce
settlement. However, this may take a long time and it might be necessary to make
alternative arrangements in the meantime.
Staying in your current home
You can apply to the courts to have the abuser removed from your current home. This
is called an Ouster Order and is explained later. Whether you decide to take this option
will depend on how safe you feel you may be. You could ask to stay in emergency
temporary accommodation while legal proceedings are taking effect.
If you are Homeless
Under the Housing Act 1985 you can be defined as homeless if you cannot remain in
your current accommodation because of the threat of abuse, and a woman in this
situation will not be regarded as making herself 'intentionally homeless'. This applies
whether or not you have children. The Act also makes special provision for women who
need to move away from the area of their former home for safety reasons, which means
that you cannot be sent back to the area you came from if you, or anyone living with you,
will run the risk of domestic abuse.
If you are not living with your violent partner, the law states that the housing department
must assess whether or not it is "reasonable to expect you to continue to occupy your
When you go to the Council Offices you will be interviewed by a housing caseworker.
You will need to give as much information as possible. This is not because you are not
believed but so that the housing manager can establish the facts and decide what
immediate action is required. If you would rather talk to a woman housing department
caseworker this will be arranged (they can also organise an interpreter). If you have
evidence such as a doctor's report, an injunction, or a police report please take them
with you. Please note that police reports are confidential information and you will need
to sign a form if you want the police to give information about you to the housing
If you are in immediate danger the housing caseworker can arrange for you to stay in
emergency temporary accommodation.
SURVIVING VIOLENCE :
LIFE AFTER ABUSE
It takes a huge amount of courage to take control of your life and decide to leave a
violent relationship. It is a very hard decision to make and is often made when we
realise and accept that the only way the abuse will stop is by denying the abuser the
opportunity to be violent.
When we do manage to leave, we are often expected to be happy and cheerful and glad
we've changed our lives. The reality is often, however, that it is only when we are safe
and have removed ourselves from the abuse that we can start to allow ourselves to feel
anything about our experiences. Part of coping with the abuse can be to concentrate on
surviving and not allow ourselves to feel.
We are often dealing with confusing and conflicting feelings. We might feel relief that
we've left but at the same time be missing the relationship or feeling lonely. And maybe
we feel that we still love our ex-partner and have lost someone really important to us.
There is often also an expectation that we are very angry at the abuser who has been
subjecting us to abuse. Maybe that is one of the things we are feeling, but it is often
really difficult to allow ourselves to feel anger at someone who has been humiliating us,
telling us we asked for it (because we are stupid, ugly, stroppy, we nag ... the excuses
go on and on), subjecting us to physical violence, sexual violence and emotional
violence and silencing us.
Often we can feel under pressure to make decisions about our future immediately, even
though being subjected to abuse can make us feel as if we have no control over our
lives. So it can feel like a huge decision just choosing what to wear in the morning, or
whether to get up at all. It is important that we give ourselves time to decide what we
want to do: try to get a job, change our jobs, go into further education... only you can
decide what you want from life and what is best for you.
UNISON, your campaigning and caring union will support you.
Women with Disabilities
WOMEN'S AID CAN PUT YOU IN CONTACT
WITH AN ACCESSIBLE REFUGE
If you are a minicom/testphone user you can ring the British Deaf Association (BDA)
on 0208-342 8791 and they will relay your call to Women's Aid.
Typetalk Tel: 01634-281561 will relay any call to organisations without minicoms
(charged at local rates)
National Support Services
If you ever feel you are in immediate danger, dial 999
Women‟s Aid 0808 200 0247
This is the national charity working to end domestic violence against women and
children, by promoting the protection of abused women and children and supporting a
range of national and local specialist domestic abuse services.
Refuge 0808 200 0247
24 hr crisis line for women and their children escaping domestic violence and abuse.
Rights of Women 0207 251 657
Jewish Women‟s Aid 0800 591203
Southall Black Sisters 020 8571 9595
Asian Women‟s Resource Centre 020 8961 6549
MALE (Men‟s Advice Line & Enquiries 0808 801 0327
London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard 020 7837 7324
London Friend 020 7837 3337
Broken Rainbow Forum 08452 60 44 60
Provides a hotline advice and referral service to LGBT people experiencing domestic
If you need emergency help you can also phone
Your local Social Services Emergency Duty Team
Your local police station
Other useful numbers
Samaritans 08457 909090
The National Child Protection Helpline 0800 800500
This is a free, confidential service for anyone concerned about children at risk, including
children themselves run by the NSPCC. The service offers counselling, information and
Imkaan http://www.imkaan.org.uk A national second-tier initiative focusing on training,
strategic advocacy and policy development and capacity-building for the specialist Asian
Women‟s Refuge sector.
Counselling for Perpetrators of Domestic Abuse
Respect Open: Monday - Friday 10am-1pm and 2pm-5pm
0845 122 8609
To promote education, support and research amongst projects and individual
practitioners who are: undertaking intervention work with perpetrators of domestic
abuse; and undertaking support work in associated women's services.
Revised August 2010
Domestic Violence and
This Agreement is made between
[THE EMPLOYER] and UNISON, a registered Trade Union.
This agreement comes into force on: …. [DATE]
This agreement will be reviewed on: …. [DATE]
Signed on behalf of [THE EMPLOYER] ………………………. Date …………
Signed on behalf of UNISON ……………………… Date …………
Domestic violence and abuse policy
(Employer‟s name) recognises that its employees will be amongst those affected by
domestic violence for example as a survivor of domestic violence, an individual who is
currently living with domestic violence, someone who has been impacted by a domestic
violence homicide or as an individual who perpetrates domestic violence.
We are committed to developing a workplace culture in which there is zero tolerance for
violence and which recognises that the responsibility for domestic violence lies with the
perpetrator. (Employer's name) has a „zero tolerance‟ position on domestic abuse and is
committed to ensuring that any employee who is the victim of domestic abuse has the
right to raise the issue with their employer in the knowledge that they will receive
appropriate support and assistance. This policy also covers the approach we will take
where there are concerns that an employee may be the perpetrator of domestic
By developing an effective domestic violence and abuse policy and working to reduce
the risks related to domestic violence, we will create a safer workplace and we will also
send out a strong message that domestic violence is unacceptable.
(Employer‟s name) recognises that domestic violence is an equalities issue and
undertakes to not discriminate against anyone who has been subjected to domestic
violence and abuse both in terms of current employment or future development.
This policy is part of (employer‟s name) commitment to family friendly working, and
seeks to benefit the welfare of individual members of staff; retain valued employees;
improve morale and performance; and enhance the reputation of (employer‟s name) as
an employer of choice.
Under the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) and the Management of Health and
Safety at Work Regulations (1992), (employer‟s name) recognises its legal
responsibilities in promoting the welfare and safety of all staff. Therefore this policy
applies to staff across all sites as well as agency and contract staff (and elected
Definition of domestic abuse
Domestic violence and abuse is best described as the use of physical and/or emotional
abuse or violence, including undermining of self confidence, sexual violence or the
threat of violence, by any person, who is or has been in a close relationship with the
victim, including abuse of parents or adult children. This policy is therefore applicable
whatever the nature of the intimate relationship.
Domestic abuse can go beyond actual physical violence. It can also involve emotional
abuse, the destruction of a spouse‟s or partner‟s property, their isolation from friends,
family or other potential sources of support, control over access to money, personal
items, food, transportation and the telephone, and stalking. It can also include abuse
inflicted on, witnessed by or threatened against, children.
Domestic abuse occurs in all social classes, cultures, and age groups whatever
the sexual orientation, mental or physical ability.
Once it has started it often becomes more frequent and more violent.
It can severely affect children emotionally and physically.
Victims are sometimes beaten or harassed by members of their immediate or
Domestic abuse is gendered – the majority of perpetrators are men and between
80-95% of those who experience it are women, although it does also occur
against men in heterosexual relationships, in same sex relationships and against
bisexual and transgender people.
Domestic violence/abuse is not a „one off‟ occurrence but is frequent and
persistent, aimed at instilling fear into, and compliance from, the victim. On
average a victim of domestic violence/abuse is assaulted 35 times before they
report the matter to the police.
Identification of the problem at work
Whilst it is for the individual themselves to recognise they are a victim of domestic
abuse, there are signs which may indicate an employee may be a victim. These may
The member of staff may confide in their colleagues/manager.
Staff may inform their manager that a colleague is suffering from domestic abuse.
There may be obvious effects of physical abuse (it is important not to make
It may come to light as a result of enquiries into a drop in performance or a
significant change in behaviour.
It may reveal itself as the background to poor attendance or presenteeism –
where victims prefer to be at work rather than at home.
It is essential to understand that any of the above may arise from a range of
circumstances of which domestic abuse may be one. Managers/ Supervisors who have
to counsel staff in such matters should address the issue positively and sympathetically
ensuring that the employee is aware that support and assistance can be provided.
(Employer‟s name) respects employees‟ right to privacy. Whilst (employer‟s name)
strongly encourages victims of domestic violence to disclose domestic violence for the
safety of themselves and all those in the workplace, it does not force them to share this
information if they do not want to.
Confidentiality and right to privacy
Employees who disclose experiencing abuse can be assured that the information they
provide is confidential and will not be shared with other members of staff without their
Where domestic abuse in a same sex relationship is disclosed, due regard will be paid
to the double disclosure of confidential information particularly where the individual
recipient of abuse may not be out at work.
There are, however, some circumstances in which confidentiality cannot be assured.
These occur when there are concerns about children or vulnerable adults or where the
employer needs to act to protect the safety of employees.
In circumstances where (employer‟s name) has to breach confidentiality it will seek
specialist advice before doing so. If it decides to proceed in breaching confidentiality
after having taken advice, it will discuss with the employee why it is doing so and it will
seek the employee‟s agreement where possible.
As far as possible, information will only be shared on a need-to-know basis.
All records concerning domestic abuse will be kept strictly confidential. No local records
will be kept of absences related to domestic abuse and there will be no adverse impact
on the employment records of victims of domestic abuse.
Improper disclosure of information i.e. breaches of confidentiality by any member of staff
will be taken seriously and may be subject to disciplinary action.
Support for individuals
(Employer‟s name) recognises that developing a life free from abuse is a process not an
event and (employer‟s name) will provide ongoing support for employees who disclose
[Employer‟s name] and UNISON representatives will work together cooperatively to help
staff experiencing domestic abuse.
[Employer‟s name] will respond sympathetically, confidentially and effectively to any
member of staff who discloses that they are experiencing domestic abuse.
Where domestic abuse has been reported line managers will treat unplanned absences
and temporary poor timekeeping sympathetically.
Line managers may offer employees experiencing domestic abuse a broad range of
support. This may include, but is not limited to:
Special paid leave for relevant appointments, including with support agencies,
solicitors, to rearrange housing or childcare, and for court appointments.
Temporary or permanent changes to working times and patterns.
Changes to specific duties, for example to avoid potential contact with an abuser
in a customer facing role
Redeployment or relocation
Measures to ensure a safe working environment, for example changing a
telephone number to avoid harassing phone calls.
Using other existing policies, including flexible working
Access to counselling/support services in paid time
An advance of pay .
Access to courses developed to support female survivors of domestic abuse, for
example The Freedom Programme (www.freedomprogrammeco.uk) or
Line managers will respect the right of staff to make their own decision on the course of
action at every stage and should avoid being judgemental. It must be recognised that
the employee may need some time to decide what to do and may try many different
options during this process.
Other existing provisions (including occupational health, Independent counselling
service, others) will also be signposted to staff as a means of help.
All employees will be made aware of this policy through a range of methods including
induction, training, appraisal, leaflets and posters.
(Employers name) will remind staff of the importance of not divulging personal details of
other employees, such as addresses, telephone numbers or shift patterns.
Disclosure of abuse
Staff experiencing domestic abuse may choose to disclose, report to or seek support
from a union representative, a line manager, or colleague. Line managers and union
representatives will not counsel victims, but offer information, workplace support, and
signpost other organisations.
[Employer‟s name] will respond sympathetically, confidentially and effectively to any
member of staff who discloses that they are suffering from domestic abuse.
A member of human resources trained in domestic abuse issues, will be nominated as
an additional confidential contact for staff. This person will also provide guidance for line
managers and union representatives who are approached by staff who are being
(Employer‟s name) is committed to ensuring all line managers are aware of domestic
abuse/violence and its implications in the workplace. Information, briefings or
awareness raising sessions will ensure that all managers are able to:
Identify if an employee is experiencing difficulties because of domestic violence
Respond to disclosure in a sensitive and non-judgemental manner
Provide initial support – be clear about available workplace support including in-
house specialist staff where applicable
Discuss how the organisation can contribute to safety planning.
Signpost to other organisations and sources of support.
Understand that they are not counsellors.
(Employer‟s name) will prioritise the safety of employees if they make it known that they
are experiencing domestic violence.
When an employee discloses domestic abuse/violence, (employer‟s name) will
encourage its employee to contact a specialist support agency (or suitably trained
specialist member of staff) who can undertake a DASH (Domestic abuse, stalking and
harassment, and honour based violence risk assessment– www.dashriskchecklist.co.uk)
and make appropriate referrals where necessary.
(Employer‟s name) will work with the employee and a specialist agency (with the
employee‟s consent) to identify what actions can be taken to increase their personal
safety as well as address any risks there may be to colleagues, taking into account the
duty of care for all employees.
Perpetrators of domestic violence
Domestic violence perpetrated by employees will not be condoned under any
circumstances nor will it be treated as a purely private matter. (Employer‟s name)
recognises that it has a role in encouraging and supporting employees to address violent
and abusive behaviour of all kinds.
If an employee approaches (employer‟s name) about their abusive behaviour,
(employer‟s name) will provide information about the services and support available to
them, and will encourage the perpetrator to seek support and help from an appropriate
(Employer‟s name) will treat any allegation, disclosure or conviction of a domestic
violence related offence on a case-by-case basis with the aim of reducing risk and
(Employer‟s name) will treat any allegation, disclosure or conviction of a domestic
violence related offence on a case-by-case basis with the aim of reducing risk and
An individual cautioned or convicted of a criminal offence may be subject to the
organisation‟s Code of Conduct policy and procedure. (Employer‟s name) also reserves
the right to consider the use of this policy should an employee‟s activities outside of work
have an impact on their ability to perform the role for which they are employed and/or be
considered to bring the organisation into disrepute. In some circumstances it may be
deemed inappropriate for the individual to continue in his/her current role(s), due to a
caution or conviction. In these circumstances the possibility of redeployment into an
alternative role should be considered.
(Employer‟s name) views the use of violence and abusive behaviour by an employee,
wherever this occurs, as a breach of the organisation‟s Code of Conduct for disciplinary
(Employer‟s name)‟s Code of Conduct is intended to inform all staff, irrespective of
grade, of the standards of conduct expected of them. It identifies a set of principles
governing behaviour by which staff members are expected to abide. Staff members are
expected at all times to present high standards of personal integrity and conduct that will
not reflect adversely on the organisation and its reputation.
These procedures can be applicable in cases where an employee has:
behaved in a way that has harmed or threatened his/her partner.
possibly committed a criminal offence against his/her partner.
had an allegation of domestic abuse made against him/her.
presented concerns about their behaviour within an intimate relationship.
(Employer‟s name) is committed to ensuring that:
allegations will be dealt with fairly and in a way that provides support for the
person who is the subject of the allegation or disclosure.
All employees will receive guidance and support.
confidentiality will be maintained and information restricted only to those who
have a need-to-know.
investigations will be thorough and independent.
all cases will be dealt with quickly avoiding unnecessary delays.
all efforts will be made to resolve the matter within 4-6 weeks, although some
cases will take longer because of their nature or complexity.
NOTE: This procedure is intended to be safety focussed and supportive rather than
The alleged perpetrator will be:
treated fairly and honestly.
helped to understand the concerns expressed and processes involved.
kept informed of the progress and outcome of any investigation and the
implications for any disciplinary process.
advised to contact their union or professional organisation.
There are four potential strands in the consideration of an allegation:
a police investigation of a possible criminal offence
disciplinary action by the employer
providing specialist, safety-focused counselling
Any employee who is responsible for giving advice or support to those experiencing
domestic abuse needs to be particularly aware of the potential consequences if they are
found to be perpetrators.
If a colleague is found to be assisting an abuser in perpetrating the abuse, for example,
by giving them access to facilities such as telephones, email or fax machines then they
will be seen as having committed a disciplinary offence.
If it becomes evident that an employee has made a malicious allegation that another
employee is perpetrating abuse then this will be treated as a serious disciplinary offence
and action will be taken.
If the victim and the perpetrator work in the same organisation
In cases where both the victim and the perpetrator of domestic violence work in the
organisation, (employer‟s name) will take appropriate action.
In addition to considering disciplinary action against the employee who is perpetrating
the abuse, action may need to be taken to ensure that the victim and perpetrator do not
come into contact in the workplace.
Action may also need to be taken to minimise the potential for the perpetrator to use
their position or work resources to find out details about the whereabouts of the victim.
This may include a change of duties for one or both employees or withdrawing the
perpetrators access to certain computer programmes or offices.
However, it is also recognised that in certain circumstances, those experiencing and
perpetrating domestic abuse in a relationship may choose to seek solutions jointly, and
in such situations appropriate support should be given.
Role of colleagues
(Employer‟s name) encourages all employees to report if they suspect a colleague is
experiencing or perpetrating abuse. Employees should speak to their line manager
about their concerns in confidence. In dealing with a disclosure from a colleague,
employers should ensure that the person with concerns is made aware of the existence
of this policy.
This policy will be reviewed jointly every three years unless there are changes in
legislation, best practice or other organisation policies impact on its effectiveness.
Anyone using this policy to respond to a victim or perpetrator of domestic violence
should refer to further current information provided by:
Refuge offers a range of services which give women and children access to professional
support whatever their situation.
Respect is the national association for professionals working with people to end their
Refuge and Respect have worked together to produce a comprehensive resource
designed to help employers and HR professionals respond to employees who are
victims or perpetrators of abuse, which was endorsed by UNISON‟s national delegate
conference in 2010. Details can be found at
Women's Aid is the key national charity working to end domestic violence against
women and children. They support a network of over 500 domestic and sexual violence
services across the UK
Support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people experiencing
Other sources of advice and support
UNISON Welfare (UNISON members only)
020 7551 1620 / www.unison.org.uk/welfare
Provide local contact details for :
Domestic Violence Co-ordinator
Drug and alcohol advice
GPs and health visitors
Perpetrators programme providers
For further information please contact:
Regional Women's Officer
Church Lane House
Essex CM1 1NH
Telephone Number (direct dial) 01245 608907
Regional Office 0845 355 0845
Fax: 01245 350725 or 01245 492863
THIS DOCUMENT WAS PRODUCED
THE EASTERN REGION WOMEN'S COMMITTEE
With thanks to the agencies of the Greenwich Multi Agency Domestic Violence
Forum and all those that participated in consultations on this document.