Sinn Féin Councillor Cathal Mclaughlin has welcomed the timely introduction of a domestic violence/abuse Workplace Policy by Causeway Coast and Glens District Council.
Speaking after the Council’s Corporate Policy and Resources committee meeting, Councillor Mclaughlin said:
“The introduction of this policy is timely as 25th November is the start of sixteen days of activism against gender based violence.
I believe that it is important that all employees are not only given information on domestic violence and abuse but are also informed where to go for help.
“Many victims of domestic violence require workplace support. Victims should not face discipline if the reason for absence or lateness is, either directly or indirectly, as a result of domestic violence or abuse.
“It is estimated that 20% of female workers take time off work due to domestic abuse or violence and up to 2% actually lose their job. This effect of punishing people for being abused has no place in society.
“It is important that victims feel more confident seeking help, knowing that they will not be disadvantaged under the terms and conditions of their employment.
“CC&G District Council have shown social responsibility by taking this this policy forward. Domestic abuse and violence will not be tolerated by the Council. Whether the perpetrator is visiting the workplace, emailing, phoning or texting; the victim will be supported.
“The Council are taking a positive lead and I would hope that this will encourage other employers to introduce similar policies.
The Committee were advised that domestic violence and abuse continues to be an ongoing issue throughout the North, with the Domestic and Sexual abuse helpline answering over 28,000 calls last year. This equates to the PSNI being called out to an incident of domestic abuse on average of every 19 minutes every day.
In the Causeway Coast and Glens area last year, there were 2,158 incidents of domestic abuse reported, which only tip of the iceberg is given that this issue is underreported.
“Sinn Féin are committed to tackling domestic violence and abuse. It must have no hiding place in our society.”