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Advice for Employers and Reps on Domestic Abuse During Disruption from COVID-19

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has released an interactive guide on ways that you can spot, support and help stop victims from suffering further abuse.

Published: 16 April 2020 | 12:00 AM Updated: 28 April 2021 | 4:30 PM
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Employers are urged to take action to support employees at risk of all forms of domestic harm during the COVID-19 lockdown

TUC are extremely concerned about the rise in domestic abuse. With response measures to COVID-19 and less access to safe spaces, it’s a frightening time, especially so if you are isolating with your abuser.

Domestic abuse is always a workplace issue, but measures put in place to deal with the coronavirus crisis mean that home is the new workplace for many. It's a workplace that's unsafe for those at risk of domestic abuse.

To that end, the TUC have produced guidance for reps and employers on domestic abuse and COVID-19.

Advice for supporting victims of domestic violence

The single most important thing you can do is to listen and believe.

You can be a link to the outside world for people at risk of abuse. You can spot signs, provide support, and help stop victims from suffering further abuse. You must do this carefully and sensitively or your attempts to help could backfire and put someone in more danger.

You can't replace specialist services, but you can use the TUC’s guide to develop the awareness and skills to give the best support and advice you can to someone who may be in danger.

Read the TUC’s guide here

HARM network at University of Central Lancashire have just released a guidance document on domestic abuse, focusing on harmful traditional practices in the workplace – which we also suggest that employers and reps familiarise themselves with.

Further resources

Domestic Violence Assist (0800 195 8699) – Specialises in assistance to obtain emergency injunctions from being further abused.

Women’s Aid Domestic Violence Helpline (0808 2000 247) – Free 24-hour national helpline run by Women’s Aid and Refuge.

Men’s Advice LineExternal Link (0808 801 0327) – Confidential helpline for male victims of domestic abuse.

National LGBT Domestic Abuse Helpline (0800 999 5428) – Emotional and practical support for LGBT+ people.

National Centre for Domestic Violence (0800 970 2070) – Specialises in assistance to get emergency injunctions from being further abused.

National Stalking Helpline (0808 802 0300) – Guidance on the law, how to report stalking, gathering evidence, staying safe and reducing the risk.

Victim Support (08 08 16 89 111) – Free and confidential help to victims of crime, witnesses, their family and friends.

Refuge (0808 200 0247 / – A UK charity providing specialist support for women and children experiencing domestic violence.

Rights of women ( – A charity helping women through the law by providing advice and information on their legal rights, supporting them to achieve justice, safety and equality.

Survivors UK (for men) ( – A charity set up to help male, trans, and non-binary victims of sexual abuse as well as their friends and family, no matter when the abuse happened

Rape crisis (0808 802 9999) – Offering free services for those who have experienced sexual abuse, rape or any kind of sexual violence 

Honour network helpline (0800 599 9247) – supporting victims of honour-based abuse and forced marriage. 

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