New manual to help employers tackle domestic violence

The Domestic Violence Resource Manual for Employers

This comprehensive resource, produced by Refuge and Respect, is designed to help employers and HR professionals respond to employees who are victims or perpetrators of abuse.  It includes:

  • A draft domestic violence policy
  • A template for implementation
  • Posters for the workplace
  • Personal testimonies
  • DVD of awareness-raising materials

Download an order form for the Domestic Violence Resource Manual for Employers

Research has shown that:

  • One in ten[i] people who has experienced domestic violence has been forced to take time off work because of the effects of the abuse
  • Twenty percent of those have been absent for more than a month.[ii]
  • In 2009, domestic violence cost UK businesses £1.9 billion in lost economic output caused by physical injuries alone.[iii]

However, research has also shown that more than one in ten victims of domestic violence chooses to confide in a manager or colleague[iv], which is why Refuge and Respect have developed the Domestic Violence Resource Manual for Employers.  It includes practical information on how to recognise and understand domestic violence, how to deal with domestic violence in the workplace and how to develop and implement a domestic violence policy.

The manual is supported by a DVD, which includes printable posters, stickers, and a directory of domestic violence services, as well as video testimonies from victims of domestic violence, public and private sector employers and trade unionists.

It is designed to offer information and support to both line-mangers and colleagues who may need to respond to domestic violence, and is applicable to employers across England, Wales and Scotland.

Fiona Bowman is a survivor of domestic violence, who thanks to her previous line manager was able to escape domestic violence.  She says:

“When I was experiencing domestic violence, my job at a bank was the only place I had to escape the constant terror of my home life.  It was the only place I could be myself and regain some sense of normality.  But for me, my work was not just my sanctuary – it ended up being my salvation.

“After a particularly awful attack, my boss came to see me in hospital.  When he saw my bruised and swollen face he realised straight away what had happened to me.  He had the amazing foresight to recognise the danger I was in and did absolutely everything in his power to help me.  He was managed to get me a new job in another branch of the bank, hundreds of miles away, and helped me to move away.  It’s no exaggeration to say that his support saved my life.  I had no-one else to turn to and, if he hadn’t acted to help me, I genuinely believe I might be here today.  Since I escaped I have been able to build a very successful career for myself.  I can’t express how grateful I am for the chance that manager gave me to achieve the life I have now.”

To receive a copy of the Domestic Violence Resource Manual for employer, please download an order form or email or

  • The Domestic Violence resource manual is funded by the Nationwide Foundation
  • The Domestic Violence Resource Manual for Employers is supported by members of the Corporate alliance against domestic violence

[i] Roe, 2010

[ii] Roe, 2010

[iii] Walby, 2009

[iv] Roe, 2010