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Actress and TV Presenter Lynda Bellingham was one of the speakers at a partnership event specifically aimed at business owners and HR Teams across the West Mercia Region.

West Mercia Women's Aid joined West Mercia Police and The Worcestershire Forum Against Domestic Abuse for Domestic Abuse: The Hidden Costs to YOUR Organisation at Sixways in Worcester, where we aimed to highlight the impact of domestic abuse on businesses, and to show how best to support employees experiencing abuse. Lynda spent many years too scared to speak out about the abuse she was suffering at the hands of her husband, worried that she would lose her job as the 'Oxo Mum'.

Employers Event SpeakersDomestic abuse statistics are sobering. 1 in 4 women, and 1 in 6 men, will be victims of domestic abuse in their lifetime. 75% of those will be targeted at work, through texts and emails, calls, confrontation and even assault or homicide. 55% of abused women arrive late for work at least five times per month, and 53% are absent for at least three days per month.

The effects on the workplace can be incredibly detrimental. On top of the emotional and physical effects on staff members suffering abuse, absence, reduced productivity, tardiness and ancillary training and recruitment costs are estimated to cost the UK economy £1.9 BILLION per year.

"My colleague and I found the event extremely useful and very inspiring. The speakers at the event who shared their experiences of domestic abuse were very courageous and opened our eyes to how wide spread this awful crime is," said Liz Macklin, Group HR Officer at Thomas Vale Construction, who attended the event. "We both left feeling that we could really make a difference to the lives of employees who may be experiencing domestic abuse."

As well as Lynda and another survivor of abuse, delegates also heard from The Corporate Alliance against Domestic Abuse, The White Ribbon Campaign and Worcester University, who all discussed the work they have undertaken to raise awareness of domestic abuse and to support those experiencing it.

If you would like to find out more about how West Mercia Women's Aid can help to support businesses to support their staff, please contact us.