Employer Awareness: Why does football cause a rise in domestic violence incidences?

1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime.  When these statistics are compared to how many staff you employ, as an employer you can begin to understand the prevalence of the problem and how domestic abuse can impact on an employee, their colleagues and the business.  Domestic abuse victims will suffer 35 incidences before reporting, either to the police or another professional.  Many of these incidents will have prevented an employee from attending work on time or will have led to increased absences and possibly time off to attend medical appointments.

If we are to gain greater awareness of this issue, which in my opinion is  cultural problem, we need to understand why it happens, the root causes and why the incidents rise during certain times of the year and during trigger points within a relationship.  Through awareness, education and training, employers can better support their employees by ensuring the workplace is a safe, non-judgemental environment and encourage employees who may be at risk to seek help sooner.

One trigger point is during the World Cup 2018!  Police reports have shown there is an increase in reporting domestic abuse incidents during these times and the research carried out by Lancaster University, highlights the risks: http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/news/articles/2014/world-cup-football-is-a-risk-factor-for-domestic-violence/  You may have seen the emotive visual campaigns across social media: http://www.ncdv.org.uk/not-beautiful-game/ with the powerful statistics;  Domestic Violence and the World Cup are closely linked, with reported incidents increasing by 26% if England plays, 38% if England loses and 11% the next day, win or lose.  Do you have employees who are at risk?  How would you spot the signs? What could you do to support an employee?

I’d like to state for all you football fans out there – football is not the cause of domestic abuse incidents – the need to exert power and control over another is.  I am referring to perpetrators of abuse who use football matches as an excuse to carry out violence and abuse.  Perpetrators tend to stick together as they need this validation from each other. They encourage each other’s subversive attitudes and help to wind each other up, the alcohol contributes, which in turn encourages aggressive behaviour and they’ll feed off each other’s sexist and belittling attitudes and remarks.  So, by the time they are ready to head home, they have the validation of their ‘mates’, are tanked up on alcohol and ready for a fight – particularly if their team have lost.  “The ‘Mrs’ had it coming for a while anyway – she deserves it.”  These are the justifications that churn around inside a perpetrators head.

The World Cup is a great opportunity to raise awareness of this issue and to encourage positive role models within the football community – of which I believe Gareth Southgate is a fine example, with his dignity and composure throughout this tournament.  I am pleased to say that our own football team Bournemouth AFC has campaigned previously against domestic violence  https://www.poole.gov.uk/newsroom/safer-poole-and-afc-bournemouth-unite-against-domestic-violence/#.W0XmBtJKjIU  in support of the Women’s Aid Campaign https://www.womensaid.org.uk/what-we-do/football-united/

Together we need to continue to send out the message that violence, abuse and sexism is not acceptable and not to be tolerated, either on the football pitch, in the home or in the workplace.

For further information on workplace training on the Impact of Domestic Abuse, Stalking, Sexual Harassment in the Workplace follow the links to:

www.safespaceconsultancy.org

www.dorsetrapecrisis.org

e-nexus Ltd

Marketing is so much more than promotion

No matter the size of your business every penny you spend & every hour you commit to your marketing has to count towards you achieving your business goals.

Promotion is an important part in your marketing efforts but ‘effective marketing’, the entire marketing that satisfies the needs of your customers is so much more. You can have a great promotional campaign but if your product or service isn’t wanted or you are charging prices that are above what your target customers will pay then it will struggle to deliver.

Print

To have ‘effective marketing’ you need to consider a wider range of factors than just promotion. Much of it isn’t difficult with the result being that it can transform the impact of your marketing. Here are just a few ideas:

• Start with product. Give customers what they need not what you think they need. Think wider than the actual product – consider the other features that surround your product – delivery methods and times, guarantees, installations, refunds, exchange policies – all of which can make your product or service more attractive.

• Speak to your customers. Ask them what they need and want from you. Find out what they think of your product or service and how it can be improved.

• Ask your customers for reviews. If they are liking what you do then encourage them to share with others what they think of your product and to post reviews on-line.

• Regularly monitor your sector and competitors. Consider how tastes are changing or new products are being launched and adapt where necessary.

• Make it easy for people to acquire your product. That maybe how they can find you or buy your product on-line. Make sure your website is mobile responsive and is search engine optimised.

• Develop your team. Ensure that everyone who works for you has great knowledge about your business and offer. Ensure they also have the right attitude & provide the level of service your customers would expect.

• Be responsive to your customers. Ensure you follow up on enquiries quickly – not many buy products or services from a company they have had to chase or have had to wait a long time to respond.

• Deal with customer complaints well. No doubts you have all had customers who haven’t been completely satisfied but how you deal and resolve their compliant will make all the difference to whether they buy from you again or recommend you to others.

• Measure, measure, measure. If you don’t measure your marketing you can’t understand, control or improve it. Use tools such as Google Analytics to see how well your website is working, monitor your email performance or conduct market research to understand what your target audience think about you and your product or service.

 

How Coercive Control Can Impact in the Workplace

As an employer, how would you recognise if an employee is suffering a form of domestic abuse such as Coercive Control. The chances are you have had employees who have been experiencing this form of abuse and this has impacted them in the workplace but not been recognised, even by the employee themselves. In addition to this, some employees could be perpetrating coercive, controlling behaviour towards an intimate partner and using your workplace resources to carry out this abuse.

Many employees see their work place as a Safe Space and I am passionate about supporting businesses who care about their Corporate Social Responsibility to fully ensure this. What can your business do to send out a key message that violence and abuse will not be tolerated? For example, do you have a domestic abuse or stalking policy in place? How would you be able to support an employee?

What is Coercive Control?
It is behaviour that a perpetrator uses to control their intimate partner such as serious threats, manipulation, tracking movements, monitoring phones and other devices and isolation tactics. A more detailed definition is given on the Home Office website: https://bit.ly/2I8gQeo (page 3), along with the following quote, which sadly, is all too true;

“Not only is coercive control the most common context in which [women] are abused, it is also the most dangerous” Evan Stark (2007) Coercive Control. How Men Entrap Women in Personal Life. New York: Oxford University Press.

Controlling or coercive behaviour is identified as a form of violence against women and girls and is underpinned by wider societal gender inequality (Home Office website – link above, page 7).

However, Coercive Control can be perpetrated within any intimate relationship such as female towards male and in same sex relationships. This is portrayed very well in a recent collaboration organised by the High Sheriff of Dorset, Dorset Police and Bournemouth University Film students with their three highly emotive productions which can be viewed here: https://bit.ly/2pwjS0s #cutyourstrings

How is this relevant to the workplace?
Unfortunately, domestic abuse will follow a person into the workplace and impact on them, their work colleagues and ultimately the business. Coercive Control is now a criminal offence under the Serious Crime Act 2015, where two or more behaviours are identified. If similar behaviours (and/or using workplace resources) are carried out against a work colleague, these would be classed as bullying and/or harassment. Employers have a legal and moral duty towards their employees and need to be aware of the risks i.e. breach of policies such as:
• The Equality Act
• Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 & the Management of Health & Safety at Work
• Employment rights Act 1996
• Protection of Freedoms Act 2012

Having an awareness of all forms of domestic abuse can help reduce the risk of harm, not only to individuals but also to your business.

There are many ways Coercive Control can impact on an employee and in the workplace;
• Financial Abuse, lack of money for lunch, travel or work expenses
• Monitoring phones, emails, social media
• Limiting access to transport, travel to work
• Changes in behaviour/appearance
• Changing work patterns/shifts/routines
• Absent or off sick frequently
• Criminal damage to company car, laptops, phones, uniforms to prevent their partner from going to work or continuing to work

Unfortunately, this list just touches the surface and I’m sure as employers you will recognise some of these but maybe not identify it as Coercive Control. Are you aware of the barriers that may exist within your business which prevent employees from disclosing and seeking support? The risks are increased if the intimate relationship ends but the behaviour continues, which can then lead to Stalking https://bit.ly/2rdwVpf

A recent article in the Daily Echo https://bit.ly/2JPS2Vk states that more than six cases of stalking in Dorset are being reported each day, double the cases from 2015, therefore Coercive Control needs to be taken seriously by employers.

Further information can be found via www.safespaceconsultancy.org

It’s Spring! Time to prune your website

Even if your business website was perfect when it went live, is it designed for growth?

Websites, a bit like gardens, need to be well-kept, pleasing to browse round and well signposted, so that people can get to what they need and see the great stuff you want them to see.

Unfortunately over time websites can become overgrown, especially those who have several members of staff working on them from different areas of the company.

Your website will naturally grow as your staff add content to it – sometimes branching out in all directions! It may become unwieldy and “hard to see the wood from the trees”. Sometimes you need someone with an outside perspective to take a look. To identify what it is you want to push to the front – and what might need a sharp snip at the base.

Or the opposite may be true, your website might be neglected or thirsty due to lack of attention – looking jaded or sparse with nothing blossoming.

The larger the company and its website, the more it needs some special care every now and then.

Here’s a quick sample checklist for a Spring Review:

  • Has your company outgrown its website by a few years?
  • Do you know how many of your staff actually update your website?
  • When was your last blog post or news item – does your website look dated and un-cared for?
  • Do you know how many people use it and which pages they view? Or measure whether your social media activity is actually driving customers to your website?
  • Do you know how many broken links your company website has?
  • Can your web visitors clearly find your most important and topical products, offers, events – or signposts to them – from every page they may land on? Remember although a homepage is designed as the main gateway, very often your visitors will land on other pages from search results. Are they still getting a good picture of your business?
  • Does your main menu at the top of the page still make sense to your customers – or does the structure of your website need changing?

There are of course lots of other points to consider.

But your business website is your global shop-window and you don’t want your customers to feel neglected or tangled up in overgrown, out-dated information.


With 15+ years of experience with large websites, I’m available to give you advice and hands-on help with maintaining and managing your website content. I also design and build websites for local businesses using WordPress.

I’m here (with shears at the ready) so contact me if you need some help making your website look great and work beautifully again.

Read more about my web content services.