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Barking and Dagenham Council recognised for work to tackle domestic abuse

PUBLISHED: 07:00 03 February 2020

Hazel North Stephens, the council's domestic abuse commissioner with Hestia CEO Partrick Ryan and Barking and Dagenham's director of law and governance Fiona Taylor. Picture: LBBD

Hazel North Stephens, the council's domestic abuse commissioner with Hestia CEO Partrick Ryan and Barking and Dagenham's director of law and governance Fiona Taylor. Picture: LBBD

LBBD

Barking and Dagenham Council has been accredited by a national charity for the way it helps employees who experience domestic abuse.

The council has been received the accreditation from Hestia, a charity that supports people in crises, in recognition best practice in the workplace regarding domestic abuse support.

It applied for the accreditation as a way of supporting employees who experience domestic abuse and to open the conversation on the issue that greatly affects Barking and Dagenham.

Councillor Maureen Worby, cabinet Member for social care and health integration, said: "Domestic violence and abuse is a key priority for the council. Barking and Dagenham has the highest reported incidents of domestic abuse in London.

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"This accreditation is part of our whole system effort to tackle domestic abuse. In 2019 we launched our pioneering Domestic Abuse Commission as well as our legal service launching the DV Flag East - an initiative to improve access to legal aid for families experiencing domestic abuse and commissioned Refuge Charity to deliver a range of specialist support for victims and their children within the borough."

The programme the borough produced tackles domestic abuse by providing free, necessary and bespoke tools to recognise the signs and play an active role in prevention. It became the first council in England to give employees paid leave if they are experiencing domestic abuse.

Councillor Dominic Twomey, deputy leader and cabinet member for finance, performance and core services, said: "As a large local employer, domestic abuse directly impacts our employees.

"This accreditation shows how we as an employer are tackling domestic abuse and it supports several pieces of work currently being undertaken. We were the first local authority in England to adopt 10 days paid leave for employees experiencing domestic abuse.

"Recognising that we have a part to play in eliminating domestic abuse we also offering individuals who want to stop their abusive behaviours the same 10 days paid leave to get the support they need. Only by working with both the perpetrators and victims will we start to break the cycle of abuse."

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