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Working together to end domestic violence and abuse.

The Public Health Responsibility Deal is a scheme designed to encourage businesses and organisations to focus on improving the quality of life for their employees by signing up to keep certain pledges.

The pledges centre on things such as alcohol unit awareness, the hazards of smoking, benefits of physical activity and better nutrition, and were introduced by the government in order to tap in to the influence employers can have on the public health by making this information available in the workplace and supporting their employers in healthy lifestyle choices.

The government recognised that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will be affected by domestic violence, therefore affecting almost every workplace across the country. Because of this, in June this year, a domestic violence pledge was introduced. The pledge will encourage employers to recognise the affect that domestic abuse can have on any member of staff and implement policies or procedures that will help increase awareness across all staff in order to create a supportive and well informed environment where individuals that are at risk from, or experiencing, domestic violence feel they can seek help. Read the pledge here. (www.responsibilitydeal.dh.gov.uk/pledges/pledge/?pl=46).

Dame Carol Black, Chair of the Responsibility Deal health at work network, said in the government news story here (www.gov.uk/government/news/organisations-commit-to-supporting-staff-facing-domestic-violence) “Domestic abuse of all kinds, including violence, is common but often hidden. Its recognition by workplace colleagues, who are alert to the possibility of abuse and are familiar with the right actions to take, can open the way to protection and freedom from threat, fear and harm. I hope that employers will see this as an important responsibility, ensure they and their staff are familiar with the guidance, and sign up to this pledge as a public statement of their commitment.”

Several top British organisations have already signed up to the pledge, including British Airways, Sodexo, Cornwall Council, HM Revenue & Customs and Women’s Aid, with the hope that a lot more business and organisations will recognise the significance of this pledge and sign up in the near future.