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Firm charges victims of domestic violence to speak out

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As part of events to mark this year’s International Women’s Day, a fast-moving consumer goods manufacturer, Unilever has called for an end to rising cases of domestic violence, urging victims of the act to speak out.

Speaking while marking the day, Executive Vice President, Marketing and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer of Unilever, Aline Santos, stated that the organisation hinged its focus on the menace of domestic violence to raise a voice for victims while ensuring that the anti-human act loses its ground.

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Santos said: “Ensuring that victims of abuse are seen and heard is the focus of our actions marking this year’s International Women’s Day. We #ChooseToChallenge the silence on domestic violence.”

Meanwhile, it has been estimated that cases of domestic violence increased by 20 per cent around the globe during the lockdown, a figure that prompted the United Nations to term the act as ‘shadow pandemic.’

Statistics from the United Nations have equally shown that prior to COVID-19, 35 per cent of women worldwide had experienced either physical or sexual intimate partner violence, or non-partner sexual violence, with 60 per cent of all cases going unreported and unheard.

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In tackling the menace, Santos added: “At the top of the list is a significant first for our business. We are offering other organisations access to our Global Domestic Violence and Abuse Policy and the measures we have put in place to support colleagues who have experienced abuse.

Speaking further on the day, Ola Ehinmoro, Human Resources Director, Unilever West Africa, stated that the organisation was launching #Unmute – an external campaign urging action to end the silence on domestic violence.

He said: “This includes a short film and a filter offering our followers on social media the option to hit the #Unmute button on a post and add a selfie showing support for Unilever’s call to end the silence on domestic violence.

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“Sometimes, the thing that stops us from speaking out is that we feel unsure how to help out or how to ask for help. To provide colleagues with resources and direction, four in-depth training modules that demonstrate how to identify domestic abuse, provide insight on how to help someone, and give examples of how to stay safe are now available in nine different languages via Degreed.”

He, therefore, urged all to join the ‘Unmute challenge’ and dare to challenge the silence on domestic violence.

Degreed is the upskilling platform that connects learning to opportunities.

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