Domestic Violence – Time for UNISON to Take Action

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2019 National Women's Conference
21 October 2018
Carried as Amended

Ever week more than two women are killed by current or ex-partners and figures are sadly rising. Currently one in four women in the UK will experience domestic violence at some point in their lives. All research indicates that in an economic recession, domestic violence and abuse increases yet meanwhile the Government imposed austerity cuts are adversely affecting women’s support services and refuges.

The vast majority of the victims and survivors of domestic abuse are women and children, and women are also considerably more likely to experience repeated and severe forms of violence, and sexual abuse.

The impact of domestic abuse is wide-ranging and will inevitably affect workers and their colleagues. It is important that it is not ignored in the workplace but understood as a serious, recognisable and preventable issue. Abuse can be psychological, financial and emotional, and includes controlling or coercive behaviour.

With more than one million women UNISON members, it’s highly likely that daily we are working alongside colleagues that are suffering from Domestic Abuse.

As a Trade Union we must raise our voices to these women to empower them to get the help and support they need when they find themselves in this dire situation.

There are many charities that support this cause and it is not our wish to reproduce their great work.

We ask the National Women’s Group to work with the NEC to:

1) consider an annual UNISON ‘Purple Ribbon’ campaign to raise awareness of this issue and empower our membership to support victims of domestic violence;

2)Consider supporting the White Ribbon Campaign, which is working towards ending male violence to women. Their pledge never to commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women.

3) develop and distribute a model Domestic Violence policy that Branches can seek to implement within their organisation;

4) seek to provide Branches and Workplace Stewards the information needed so they are better equipped to signpost and assist members in need of assistance.