Labour Research January 2016

Health & Safety Matters

Unions call for ‘zero tolerance’ of violence

At events held around the country, trade unionists marked the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women at the end of November 2015 by calling for “zero tolerance” of violence against women. 

Members of the UNISON public services union took part in workplace awareness events across Wales, including at Newport City Council where the local authority is currently consulting staff — in partnership with UNISON — on strengthening its domestic violence policy. 

The Northern TUC women’s group marked the initiative with a Reclaim the Night march and rally in Newcastle. Speakers included Dr Ruth Lewis from Northumbria University who spoke about her work tackling “lad culture” to make students’ experience of university safe, welcoming and respectful. Research by the National Union of Students (NUS) shows that one in seven women students has been sexually assaulted or suffered serious physical violence while at university or college, and over two thirds (68%) have been subjected to verbal or physical harassment.

Meanwhile, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) highlighted the “damaging and rapidly increasing incidents of cyber bullying and threats” targeting women journalists.