A Wrexham lawyer has urged bosses being targeted in a 16-day campaign to provide support for employees who are victims of domestic violence to familiarise themselves with exactly what the term ‘domestic violence’ means.
The ‘16 Days of Action Against Domestic Violence’ campaign is set to launch on November 25th, but lawyers at one of the region’s largest law firms claim that many employers associate domestic violence only with physical abuse and they need to familiarise themselves with the facts.
Employment law specialist Robert Williams, a partner of GHP Legal, said: “Employers have a legal obligation to assess risk and support the health and safety and wellness of their employees.
“16 Days of Action Against Domestic Violence aims to get company bosses to aid employees who endure domestic violence and to better equip the workplace to acknowledge indicators of its potential existence. The problem is that most people not touched by domestic abuse believe it relates only to physical abuse. Domestic abuse can affect performance in the workplace and those who may be suffering silently need support.”
Head of the GHP Legal’s Family department, Nathan Wright, adds: “The Government definition of domestic violence and abuse is: Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality.
“Changes to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) on 1st April 2013 led to a change in the scope of Legal Aid for private family cases and, as a result, divorce, financial and children disputes no longer fall within the legal aid scope. What many people don’t realise is that there is an exception to the rule when the applicant has been a victim of, or if there is a risk of, domestic violence and types of abuse can include psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional abuse.”