First business achieves quality mark status for domestic violence support

Leeds, Leeds Star

Mears Group has become the first Leeds business to achieve the Domestic Violence and Abuse Quality Mark for Business from the Safer Leeds Partnership.

As part of the international 16 Days of Action against domestic violence campaign, Safer Leeds is calling on all Leeds businesses and organisations to consider what they can do to help those suffering domestic violence and abuse, and start working towards the quality mark.

The Quality Mark has been developed by the Domestic Violence team at Safer Leeds to help Leeds businesses improve the way they respond to and support employees affected by domestic violence or abuse.

Businesses are being asked to put in place implement the following measures to be able to achieve the Safer Leeds Domestic Violence and Abuse Quality Mark:

  • Display and distribute information in the workplace about domestic violence and abuse services in Leeds and national helplines;
  • Brief and/or train managers in how to respond positively to employees affected by domestic violence and abuse;
  • Develop guidelines for managers on how to respond to staff affected by domestic violence and abuse;
  • Develop guidelines for staff on how to support colleague;
  • Agree domestic violence and abuse leads to be a point of contact and to share information and good practice, including information about awareness raising campaigns;
  • Ensure those leading on DV and A receive training on awareness, understanding and good practice in relation to domestic violence and abuse;
  • Integrate domestic violence and abuse into all relevant staff welfare policies, and;
  • Support the White Ribbon Campaign.

Councillor Debra Coupar, executive member for communities said:

“We are delighted that Mears Group has taken such positive action to support their employees who may be affected by domestic violence and abuse.

“Domestic violence is a very real problem which impacts on the lives and wellbeing of thousands of Leeds citizens every day. We have a zero tolerance approach to domestic violence and abuse and with support from businesses like Mears and others who sign up for the new Quality Mark we can help eradicate it from our city.”

Andy Wilson, executive director said:

“Mears are proud to be the first business to achieve this quality mark, demonstrating our commitment to stamping out domestic violence and working towards our ultimate goal of improving lives of our workforce and the citizens of Leeds.”

The White Ribbon campaign day, Friday 25 November, marks the start of the 16 days of action to end violence against women which runs until Saturday 10 December. This year Leeds is focussing on helping people to understand that abuse comes in all forms, such as coercion, financial or sexual abuse and doesn’t necessarily just mean physical violence.

Leeds City Council and its partners have supported 16 days of action since 1999. This year’s 16 days of action will also build on the successful “Get comfortable talking it” campaign from last year, which encouraged the people of Leeds to pose any questions they had about domestic violence to get the city talking about it more openly.

Safer Leeds is made up by partners across the city including Leeds City Council, West Yorkshire Police, the National probation Service, Community Rehabilitation Company, health, fire and clinical commissioning groups.

Mears is the leading social housing repairs and maintenance provider in the UK and a major presence in the homecare and support market, repairing and maintaining over 700,000 social homes and providing personal care to over 30,000 elderly and disabled people. The broader housing service includes building new homes as well as housing management. Mears’ vision is to make a positive difference to the communities they serve by improving homes, improving communities and improving lives.

For help and advice people can visit: www.leedsdomesticviolenceandabuse.co.uk or contact the Leeds Domestic Violence Service 24 hour help line on 0113 2460401. In case of immediate danger people should call 999.