Urgent need to tackle domestic abuse and empower women

Women’s conference highlighted that domestic abuse is a workplace issue and backed a wide-ranging composite that set out a number of actions for National Women’s Committee to support our members experiencing domestic violence.

This includes training for stewards on domestic violence and encouraging branches to lend support to women having to urgently flee abuse. It will also press for workplace domestic abuse policies and training, 10 days paid leave for victims and reforms to Universal Credit to support women fleeing domestic violence.

Moving Renfrewshire branch’s amendment, first time speaker, Margaret McIntyre

explained that their small amendment sought to demonstrate the need to highlight, empower and support women members to use legislation that will bring criminal charges in relation to domestic abuse.

“We need to publicise that prosecutors can tackle behaviour which is deemed controlling, domineering and demeaning.”

She pointed to a case in Scotland last month centred around a professional rugby player, 22 years old, privately educated, who was convicted of domestic abuse against his former girlfriend.

“At court he admitted to a 2 year campaign of abuse. He demanded to know where she was at all times, used the tracking system on her phone, sent abusive messages on social media, physical violence, telling her what she could wear, who she could meet, accessed her social media accounts, and sent abusive text messages,” said Margaret.

“As the largest union with over 1 million women members, we need to do all we can to make domestic abuse history,” she urged, calling for guidance to signpost women members to help and support, to ensure they get the help they need.

“I am a survivor of domestic abuse,” said Margaret, “Which has only made me stronger, more determined and the person I am today.”