Local people are being encouraged by Lisburn City Council to consider how they can make their city Northern Ireland’s first ‘Safe City’ for people living with domestic abuse.
In a new campaign supported by the Public Health Agency, local businesses, churches, community groups and individuals, living or working in Lisburn are being asked what they can do to support people living with domestic abuse.
This initiative forms part of a wider project ‘Invest in Health Profit in Business’, which aims to highlight the benefits of policies and work based schemes that promote employee wellbeing in local businesses.
The Council is leading by example and has already demonstrated its commitment to employees and people using council facilities when it successfully achieved a Gold Workplace Charter Award in recognition of its support for employees and the ‘Safe Place’ scheme.
Councillor Jenny Palmer, Chairman of the Council’s Environmental Services Committee, said: “By achieving Gold Charter status the awareness of domestic violence and abuse has increased among council officers and elected members.
“Should it become apparent that a member of staff is affected by abuse, support can be put in place within the workplace.”
Developed by social enterprise Onus, ‘Safe Place’ provides information on local support services; and the ‘Safe Employer’ initiative assures any employee experiencing abuse in their home can be sure that their workplace will provide a Safe Place for them to access support. Training and resources are provided to employers supporting these initiatives.
Colette Stewart, Onus Business Manager, explained why Lisburn should be a Safe City: “One in four women and one in nine men will experience domestic abuse at some stage during their lifetime.
“Organisations such as Women’s Aid, Victim Support and the PSNI are doing everything they can to support those living with abuse, but we believe that everyone can do something.”
For further information on how to tackle this issue please visit www.onustraining.co.uk. Anyone dealing with domestic violence can access support by calling the 24hr Domestic and Sexual Violence Helpline on 0808 802 1414.