Premiership club joins business big hitters in campaign against domestic abuse

Kim Healey

Everton Football Club has joined some of the UK’s best-known employers by signing up to become members of ‘The Employer’s Initiative on Domestic Abuse’ (EIDA).

As part of Everton’s commitment to promote equality and inclusivity through its ‘All Together Now’ campaign, the club will raise awareness and educate staff as well as its wider community on how to spot the signs of domestic abuse.

As an increasingly influential business network, EIDA works alongside organisations to provide access to information and support services aimed at tacking domestic abuse.

Known as ‘The People’s Club’, Everton is recognised as one of Liverpool City Region’s most progressive employers and is the only football club in the country to be named in The Sunday Times Top 100 Best Companies to work for.

As EIDA members, the club will receive resources such as training programmes, toolkits and access to support resources.

According to the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW), an estimated 5.7% of adults aged 16 to 74 years (2.4 million people) experienced domestic abuse in the past year, with many more incidents going unreported.

The lockdown period due to COVID-19 has brought the issue of domestic abuse into focus nationally, with calls to the National Domestic Abuse Helpline, run by Refuge, and visits to its website rising exponentially during the crisis.

Last month, city leaders, including Andy Cooke, Chief Constable of Merseyside Police, Jane Kennedy, Merseyside’s Police and Crime Commissioner, and Steve Rotherham, Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region, announced their support for #YouAreNotAlone, a city region-wide campaign promoting local and national domestic abuse support, with a focus on the new challenges brought by coronavirus.

Kim Healey, people director at Everton, said: “As an employer we have an important and continuous role to play in educating our staff and wider community about the various social issues that impact our society.

“Domestic abuse isn’t always physical – it’s a pattern of controlling behaviour, which can be emotional, economic, psychological or sexual.

“By signing up to be EIDA members we’ll have access to toolkits required to ensure our staff members are better equipped to understand the signs of abuse, the impact it can have on the victims and other people’s lives, as well as the necessary actions to provide support.”

EIDA is a growing network of 400 large and small employers from a wide variety of sectors, working collectively to act on domestic abuse.

With members as high profile and diverse as John Lewis, BBC, Boots, House of Commons and easyJet, its mission is to work with employers to raise awareness among all of their employees, support those facing domestic abuse, and provide access to services to help perpetrators to change their behaviour and stop.

Lorraine O’Brien, chief executive of The Employer’s Initiative on Domestic Abuse, said: “We are delighted to welcome Everton to our network.

“The role of employers in tackling domestic abuse has become even more apparent during the pandemic and ongoing commitment from a high profile and influential employer will mean not only support for their own workforce and community, but will add value to the wider sector aim of stopping domestic abuse in all its forms, once and for all.”