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Domestic Violence Policy and Awareness Campaign | London, UK

The Group I&D Team at Anglo American focuses on delivering our vision to promote an inclusive and diverse environment where every colleague is valued and respected for who they are and has the opportunity to fulfil their potential. One of the core pillars of our strategy is to create a safe and effective, enabling environment. Our zero-tolerance approach to Bullying, Harassment and Victimisation and domestic violence and abuse fall under this pillar, the approach being driven through our strong company values of safety (physical and psychological) and care and respect. This work is especially challenging within the context of a global extraction industry with a patchwork of varying geographical cultures.
During 2020 we had two related Domestic Violence (DV) deaths within a week and several further life- changing DV incidents which galvanised an extension of our Stand up for Everyone work to provide a sector-leading approach to recognising and responding to DV. The context is our responsibility as an organisation to tackle a pernicious broader societal problem within the workplace, positively impacting on the communities that are employed by us.
In 2020, DV was being seen as the “shadow pandemic”, exacerbated by Covid 19-led increased isolation and impacting on people regardless of geography, gender or socio-economic status. Our intention was to support our people to escape or tackle DV, before escalation as far as possible. From research we know 1 in 5 adults will experience DV in their lifetime equating to a potential 19,000 of our global colleagues. In collaboration with an expert who also worked with UN Women and could guide us on best practice, we created a global DV response which included a policy setting out definitions of behaviours; reporting guidelines and a suite of support available to survivors of abuse. The Policy is supported by a toolkit; online and face to face training plus ad hoc education, and awareness sessions. We took the decision to train people in house right across the organisation to be risk assessors who became the lynch pin between colleagues needing support and rapid access to that support according to their individual circumstances.
We also offer perpetrator or potential perpetrator support where appropriate (e.g., counselling).
We know that experiencing DV will affect performance and prevent colleagues from reaching their true potential at work, so the initiative has been delivered through a wider inclusion lens as well as safety, our priority. The programme is sponsored by the Group Director of People and Organisation and fully endorsed by the Executive Leadership Team, lending it vital visibility. We created and implemented the Domestic Violence programme within six-months, working in consultation with subject matter experts – rolled out globally, with supporting bespoke training/awareness campaigns.
Since then we have seen many formal cases of support being accessed and even if we have saved only one life (we suspect we have saved many more), then this has been a more than worthwhile effort on our part and its one we are proud of.