Lisburn City Council becomes a safe place

LISBURN City Council has held a number of training sessions for its Line Managers on the difficult and emotive subject of domestic violence and abuse.

The Council has produced guidelines which have been adopted as good practice across the organisation in relation to domestic violence and abuse. As part of its Gold Workplace Charter Award the Council works with the organisation, Onus, to support both policy making and good practice on domestic violence and abuse and how it affects the workplace. The Council offers a supportive role to any of its employees who may be affected by this issue and it has trained its Line Managers on what steps can be taken should a Line Manager be made aware of an employee-related issue.

The Council has also designated all its facilities SAFE PLACES. Anyone seeing the Safe Place logo displayed is assured that they can access free information on how to tackle domestic violence. Reception staff have also been trained in providing confidential information to the public.

The Mayor, Alderman William Leathem, was involved in the training and said: “The statistics for domestic violence and abuse are disturbing. As well as the more obvious physical abuse, which is perhaps our first perception of domestic violence, there is emotional, sexual, verbal and financial abuse and all of these can also affect children within a family. The Council employs hundreds of people and we want our Managers to have the skills to equip them on what to do if they are told of a domestic violence or abuse situation.”

The Director of Environmental Services, Mr Colin McClintock, said:” There has been a significant amount of research and effort put into addressing this issue and we are of course delighted that we have been accredited with a Gold Workplace Charter on Domestic Violence Award. The Council has been fully supportive in our efforts to let our employees know that we are here to offer support and provide advice and assistance within our role as their employer. I am very grateful to the Onus organisation whose headline is ‘The Onus is on All of Us’,” he concluded.