Client testimonials

Rev. Michael Gregory – Antrim Methodist Church

Antrim Methodist Church see it as a privilege of being awarded Safe Church status.
It means that we are being deliberate in our work to help those who are abused to find help.
This gives us another resource at our disposal, so that we can help those within the church and the community who are weak, vulnerable and feel powerless to seek help and have their voice heard. We believe that this is our calling.


Belfast High School – Emma Hood (Teacher)

I believe that society is becoming very complex for young children partly due to social media and modern technology. Children are facing challenges and behaviour which we may not have been exposed at same stages. There is a need to educate children on what is or may not be appropriate and how to cope with these situations. I believe the support programme ONUS has provided our pupils has been invaluable as it is my belief it should not be an isolated lesson in school but a structured programme, as delivered by ONUS. It is good for pupils to hear the messages delivered by different people not just teachers in the school environment. Recognising different forms of abuse is also very important. ’






Lisburn City Council

Lisburn City Council gains Gold Domestic Violence Workplace Charter and becomes a SAFE PLACE

Lisburn City Council launched its Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults Policy in 2011 and became aware of the Workplace Charter around this time. Initially the Council’s Safeguarding Working Group was unsure if this was an issue it wanted to pursue as Domestic Violence and abuse seemed remote from the services provided by the council.

After researching the need for information for line managers and staff further, the Workplace Domestic Violence guidance was drawn up by the Council’s Safeguarding Working Group during the summer of 2012 and the organisation was awarded the ONUS Bronze Charter award in November 2012.

ONUS were appointed to train line managers and reception staff in the Spring of 2013 and when this training was completed the Council received its Gold Charter award. Eight members of staff volunteered to receive additional training to become ‘Trusted Colleagues’ for line managers and anyone suffering abuse. They will provide additional information and support for any staff member needing it.

 All staff trained were asked to complete training evaluation and here are some of the comments received:

  • The parts I found useful were the cycle of violence, the signs of abuse and also the triggers”
  • “I found the DVD and the safety plan particularly useful”
  • “I was totally unaware of the amount of abuse that occurs”
  • “I found the information given very practical and interesting”
  • “Talking through the case studies and discussing the options was extremely helpful”
  • “I found it helpful to learn about the response process for line managers”

The guidance and awards are the most visible part of the work currently being done within the organisation. Maintaining the profile of domestic violence and implementing the guidance is now a priority for the Safeguarding Working Group. Recording forms for line managers and trusted colleagues have been drawn up and made available on the Council’s intranet site.

Every employee has been issued with an information leaflet which details what support they can expect from the Council should they experience domestic violence or abuse.

In addition to the internal guidance Lisburn City Council open access facilities are also now designated as SAFE PLACES. The SAFE PLACE logo is displayed at entrances and reception staff have been made aware of what information on domestic violence is available. Contact details cards are available at receptions.

Despite original concerns about whether the guidance would be applicable to our work place and how it may be received by staff we have been encouraged from the positive feedback and are confident that the Council, with the support of ONUS, will be able to respond to employees experiencing domestic violence or abuse.


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PSNI – Inspector Pauline Mooney

“With 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men affected by domestic abuse during their adult lives, there are very few, if any workplaces in Northern Ireland that are not touched by this issue. 

A positive early encounter with a trusted colleague or manager is likely to inform the perception of the victim’s future expectations of support they are likely to receive should the situation escalate. Where employers have a workplace policy in place, this can reassure an employee that the matter will be treated in confidence and with sensitivity.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland, recognising that domestic abuse is prevalent in society, developed a workplace policy for staff and officers experiencing domestic abuse in 2007. In 2010, the Police Service collaborated with ONUS in examining policy and procedures. By undergoing a structured assessment and review process, the ONUS Workplace Charter has provided an excellent platform to learn from other organisations and further develop good practice whilst remaining victim focused. The Police Service were delighted to receive a Gold Award for its Workplace Charter on Domestic Violence from ONUS in 2011 and have continued working with ONUS to improve services to staff and officers who are experiencing domestic abuse.”





Triangle Housing Association – Michelle Burnett

“ONUS has supported Triangle to develop a Workplace policy on Domestic Violence and raise awareness of this with staff & managers through a range of training interventions.  Through this approach, we have successfully engaged with staff on this important issue leading to a number of our employees volunteering to become peer support via the ‘Trusted Colleague’ training program. 

 As a leading provider of housing and support services across Northern Ireland, our vision is ‘’Building Better Futures Together” through supporting and empowering those in society who are in need.  We believe that working alongside ONUS, we can help to make this happen for those individuals affected by domestic violence.  By taking proactive steps to address domestic violence as a wider issue for the community in which we provide operate, Triangle can also demonstrate its genuine commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility and support the work of other charitable organisations.

 As an employer of approximately 280 staff, we recognise that domestic violence is not only a health & wellbeing issue but also a significant concern in terms of employee health & safety.  The Workplace Charter helps us to fulfil our  employer obligations in this area and continually improve as a recognised ‘Investor in People’and ‘Employer of Choice’.  We recognise the clear business benefits to be gained from supporting staff on this issue in terms of reduced absenteeism, lower levels of labour turnover and increased productivity.

 As an organisation, we promote quality services and a positive workplace culture through our commitment to 5 core values –choice, inclusion, dignity, empowerment and respect.  The Workplace Charter gives us an opportunity illustrate these values in action, as follows:-

  • Ensuring that those staff affected by domestic violence remain included within our workplace
  • Through offering choices to staff affected by domestic violence in terms of how they make a disclosure and the range of support measures in place for them;
  • Helping to ensure dignity & respect when staff choose to make a disclosure through appropriately trained managers and staff;
  • Ensuring those staff affected by domestic violence receive the necessary support to empower them to make difficult decisions in relation to their personal lives;

 We are therefore very proud of our association with ONUS and would highly recommend their consultancy services.  We recognise that our organisation has benefitted greatly from the professionalism and dedication of their staff team.  We look forward to our continued working relationship in the future.”