MANY workplaces are unprepared to deal with stalking or domestic abuse when it affects their staff, according to a consultant running training on the issue.

Only half of businesses have a domestic abuse policy and only 20 per cent have a stalking policy.

Domestic abuse and stalking are estimated to cost UK business more than £2.3billion a year.

One in five women and one in 10 men will experience stalking in their lifetime, while 79 per cent of perpetrators will use workplace resources to target their victim.

Julie Johns, who runs Safe Space Consultancy, is hosting a training event for employers tomorrow, Wednesday September 20, at the Marsham Court Hotel in Bournemouth, along with Dorset Rape Crisis Support Centre and Stress Right training.

She said those suffering the problems still face unhelpful attitudes such as “Oh, you have an admirer – aren’t you the lucky one?”

She said one victim who reported stalking to the police for seven years was told by an officer: “Hopefully it will fizzle out.”

A report published in July by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and the Crown Prosecution Service said lessons needed to be learned about the impact of stalking on victims.

The consequences for employers can include high absenteeism or staff turnover, impact on other team members, financial loss, reputational loss to the business or the risk of the business closing.

Julie Johns said: “The most dangerous time for an employee to be at risk of stalking is when a relationship has ended and that is when an abusive ex-partner is most likely to stalk, when they are at their most dangerous and the victim is most vulnerable.

“A perpetrator of abuse has no respect for boundaries therefore attempting to access an ex-partner via the workplace will not deter them.

“The impact this has on a person is devastating and life changing.

“The victim may need to close all their social media accounts, move house, leave their job and leave the area entirely. Stalkers will also target their victims’ friends, family and work colleagues.

“As an employer, what do you have in place to address this? How would you respond if an employee came to you and says, ‘I have a problem with this person, I don’t know what to do?’ It is imperative that an employee can talk to someone who has received the necessary training to address this in the workplace. It is important to remember that a victim will suffer 100 incidences of stalking before they finally report it.”

Tickets for tomorrow’s training are available via Eventbrite and details are at