A new charter for Yorkshire businesses has been created as part of a groundbreaking event planned to encourage more organisations to take a proactive stand against domestic abuse.

The Yorkshire Businesses Against Domestic Abuse Charter has been developed by domestic abuse charity IDAS in support of the Speaking Out: Domestic Abuse and the Workplace event created by Yorkshire businesswoman, and author Ros Jones.

The new charter is being supported by a range of other organisations supporting victims of abuse including Vida Sheffield.

Ros says: “Domestic abuse is the last taboo in terms of an issue that impacts our workforce so significantly. It is a problem that is so pervasive, it extends beyond the confines of the home, affecting various aspects of a sufferer’s life, including the workplace. However, it’s an issue that many don’t speak out about, they feel embarrassed and ashamed mentioning it, or unsure how to tackle it. This is why we have created this event for people to find out more about it and what they can do as a business to support their workforce.”

One in 5 people suffer domestic abuse and it costs the UK economy £23 billion per year. A report by the Government found that less than 5% of businesses have any policy related to domestic abuse to support their workforce.

Sarah Hill CEO IDAS, Yorkshire’s largest specialist charity supporting people affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence adds:

“We’re pleased to support this event and launch the first domestic abuse charter for businesses in Yorkshire. This event represents a significant step by businesses who attend towards creating a safer, more supportive work environment. We all have a part to play in our communities to end domestic abuse. By signing this charter and committing to the actions within it, Yorkshire businesses will undoubtedly help many people experiencing domestic abuse.”

The Speaking Out event is taking place at the Leeds Marriott Hotel on Wednesday 11th October, 9.30am-2.30pm and will include experts in domestic abuse, law, HR, finance alongside survivors of domestic abuse sharing their stories.

Attendees will also be provided with free HR policies and templates developed specifically for the event by Breathing Space HR.

The event is being supported by Bradford BID and Bradford at Night following their commitment to creating a safe place for women and girls, including becoming the first WalkSafe city in the country, and family law firm, Ridley & Hall.

Ros, who is also a volunteer for IDAS says: “It is so important that people feel their workplaces are safe spaces. Whatever industry you are in, or whatever size business. Domestic abuse is a stark reality for too many people and this charter is a proclamation by all those who sign it that it must be stopped, and that they are there to support victims to get the help they need.”

The event is taking place during domestic abuse awareness month. Tickets can be booked at speakingout.eventbrite.co.uk and all profit proceeds are being donated to IDAS.