Leveraging the ‘Special Relationship’ to tackle domestic violence

Emma Pearmaine

More than half of the people who suffer some form of domestic violence are targeted by their abusers at work.

This is why the Corporate Alliance has campaigned to raise the issue up the boardroom agenda at companies in the UK.

However invasions of the workplace by abusers must be considered alongside every aspect of domestic violence; physical, emotional, in the home, in public or at work.

This is why the Corporate Alliance is now aligning its efforts with those of other groups and organisations in the UK and overseas.


Why are we in America?

During June 2015, a delegation from the Corporate Alliance led by our Patron, Baroness Scotland QC visited the United States to meet with policy makers, legislators and employers.

The Baroness sought to emphasise our belief that as a global phenomenon, domestic violence is a profound and widespread problem which needs collective action and a singular focus to bring about change.

The Corporate Alliance does what it can by putting a spotlight on the potential role employers can play in identifying the signs of domestic violence amongst their staff. However there is a considerable way to go if it is to be the subject of a clear framework like those achieved by the anti-racism lobby.

In relation to this issue, the anti-racism pressure groups are years ahead; a culture of reporting and dealing with racist incidents is part of the handbook at every employer in the developed world and victims feel comfortable coming forward to tell others about their concerns, knowing that they will be protected and their anonymity maintained.

Our worry is that action to stop domestic violence will not gain the same kind of acceptance in society without more co-ordination from employers, public bodies, student groups, clubs and associations; anywhere that communities congregate and coalesce.

The Corporate Alliance’s time spent in the US will offer a unique insight into the ways that other groups tackle the issue of domestic violence. I know as a lawyer handling cases of this nature that abuse can manifest in so many ways, no single view or categorisation can define it.

Hopefully, with the will and determination of our group and our partners in the US and elsewhere, we will be able to build a society that increasingly protects victims and starves abusers of opportunity to cause further harm.

Written by Emma Pearmaine, Director of Family Services at Simpson Millar solicitors

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