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Gentoo supports Domestic Abuse and Workplace Strategy

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Gentoo supports Domestic Abuse and Workplace Strategy


Published by LauraMcKinlay for Gentoo Group in Communities and also in Care and Support, Health, Housing, Local Government

PCC Event PCC Event

North east organisations gathered recently to show their support for the Domestic Abuse and Workplace strategy produced by Northumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird QC.

Social business, Gentoo Group, showed its support by hosting an event atSunderland’s Stadium of Light, to highlight the Policy to fellow housing providers.  Attendees included Chartered Institute of Housing (North East) Board and Social Landlords Nuisance Group members who listened to speakers including campaigners John and Penny Clough MBE.

The 'Domestic and Sexual Abuse in the Workplace' strategy for employers forms part of the regional Violence Against Women and Girls strategy being promoted by Vera Baird QC, and encourages organisations to sign a pledge and appoint a Domestic Abuse Champion who can be a point of contact for any employee who may be suffering abuse to talk to. Housing organisations employ 11,000 people in the North East so there is potential to have a large impact across a number of employers.    

These Champions, who will not just be in the workplace but also in places like libraries, swimming pools, members clubs and groups of all kinds, will have an important role in being available for survivors and leading people towards help and guidance, as well as raising awareness in their organisation.

PCC Vera Baird QC said: “I am delighted to see social housing providers taking time out of their busy diaries to learn more about the ‘Domestic and sexual violence and abuse in the workplace’ strategy.

“It is very encouraging to see organisations such as Gentoo taking a lead on this issue and playing a positive part in implementing the strategy.

“I would urge other businesses and companies to sign up and help show their support for their employees. It could help save another victim from abuse."

Penny and John Clough’s daughter Jane was a victim of domestic violence and was killed by her ex-partner at work. They run the Justice for Jane campaign and told their story at the event, highlighting to employers the importance of raising awareness in the workplace.

Penny said: “It is wonderful seeing an organisation taking this so seriously. Sometimes, the only place victims feel safe is at work but it also could be a place of danger as often once reported it is the only way a perpetrator can reach victims.  1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men experience domestic violence and employers and work colleagues can make a huge difference to people’s lives. By recognising the signs and underlying issues together we can all help tackle domestic violence. Both John and I are extremely proud to help spread the message and make a difference.”

Peter Walls, Chief Executive, Gentoo Group said: “Gentoo is committed to enabling people to feel safe and secure, not only in our communities, but in the workplace. We were delighted to host an event that will help to promote the role employers can play.

“As a Group we have very strong views about protecting people and by adopting the policy and raising awareness we can ensure victims of domestic violence can access support at work. A wider support network at work will give more people the confidence to speak up.

“Embedding this policy into your organisation can truly help you improve the way people live their life. We would encourage all employers to get on board.”

If you would like further information or would like to discuss how your organisation can get involved, please contact Violence Against Women Project Officer, Sue Smith at

For general victim support for domestic and sexual violence and abuse and any other crime, call North East Victim Support on 0845 277 0977. Should you find yourself in immediate danger you should call 999.

Gentoo Group’s whole ethos is about believing nothing is impossible and finding new ways to challenge conventions, Gentoo aims to make society a better place to live and to make a real difference to the way people live their life. To find out more about Gentoo, visit for more information or follow @gentoogroup on Twitter.


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