ITV News at Ten presenter Julie Etchingham will make the news when she comes to Gloucester next week (Tuesday 16 June).
The former BBC and Sky News journalist is Patron of the Hollie Gazzard Trust and will be among the speakers at a conference to raise awareness of domestic abuse and stalking and their obligations as employers to safeguard individuals from harm.
The murder of Gloucester hairdresser Hollie Gazzard, 20, along with similar crimes elsewhere, has thrust the issue of domestic abuse into the spotlight as never before. The event is free and is called ‘Behind closed doors’ because domestic abuse has sadly been viewed as a taboo topic for too long.
Hollie’s father Nick Gazzard, chairman of the charity named after his daughter, said: “58% of domestic homicides happen in the workplace so it’s important employers are made aware of their responsibilities. Some of Hollie’s colleagues knew she was in an abusive relationship but didn’t know what to do or who to tell.
“In fact, it’s highly likely that all workplaces have staff that have or are experiencing abuse as well as those who are perpetrators so developing an effective policy in the workplace is essential”.
Research shows that as many as 1 in 4 women will experience domestic abuse at some point in their lifetime and 1 in 6 men.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Gloucestershire Martin Surl, who is funding the event, said: “Domestic abuse can impact negatively on an employee’s health and wellbeing. It can also have an effect on staff morale as well as organisational image and reputation.
“Employers have obligations in respect of their employees’ health and wellbeing and in law under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997”.
It’s estimated that in England and Wales domestic abuse costs £1.9billion a year in lost economic output, due to decreased productivity, administration difficulties from unplanned time off, lost wages and sick pay”.
“I want to stress that we have a zero tolerance approach to domestic abuse here in Gloucestershire and that all the agencies are committed to a strategy to stand up against it.
“Part of this involves identifying risks earlier and supporting organisations to identify the signs of domestic abuse and support victims coming forward.
“I expect businesses to stand alongside us in this strategy – it is everyone’s responsibility to keep people safe.”
Among the questions posed at the event will be – Would you know the signs? What are your legal obligations? To register your place, click here: http://www.gloucestershire-pcc.gov.uk/behind-closed-doors-event/ For further information www.holliegazzard.org