Raising awareness of the devastating impact of domestic abuse

First time delegate Alice

#uwomen2020 In a moving debate, conference heard many harrowing, personal experiences of surviving domestic abuse, as delegates pledged to raise awareness across our union on the impact of domestic violence on workers and to highlight its particular impact on women’s mental health.

The National Women’s Committee will lobby for training for mental health services to help early recognition of possible domestic abuse.

Backing the motion, first time Scottish delegate, Alice, told delegates about her experience of supporting a woman to leave an abusive partner.

Although it was a very difficult situation, her member was “lucky – and I can’t believe I’m saying that,” said Alice: “But that was because she had an incredibly supportive line manager.

“If her line manager had followed the absence policy our member would have been out of a job, due to her subsequent absence as a direct result of the impact on her mental health.”

Alice warned: “The lack of knowledge, empathy and understanding of the impact that domestic violence can have on individuals’ mental health is staggering and it needs to change now.”

She went on to talk about our trans sisters, telling conference that “domestic abuse perpetrated against trans women is at an incomprehensible 80%.

“Eight out of ten trans women will experience domestic abuse at some time in their lives,” said Alice.

She asked delegates to educate themselves on the plight of trans women and to ensure that we make space safe for all women.

“Because in the coming five years especially, we cannot afford to be divided. We cannot afford not to stand strong together.”

By Kate Ramsden

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