BUSINESS students at the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) were given a special lecture this week on the dangers of domestic abuse and stalking, and how it can affect the work environment.

Nick Gazzard, chairman of Gloucester-based charity the Hollie Gazzard Trust (HGT), was invited by visiting lecturer and business and enterprise centre consultant Phyllida Wilson to give the talk.

Hollie was murdered in 2014 at the age of 20 by a former boyfriend, with the charity set up by her dad Nick to help combat different types of abuse and knife crime.

“The work that Nick Gazzard is doing in universities and schools is simply invaluable in educating students and staff alike about the epidemic of domestic abuse, coercive control and stalking currently unfolding in our society,” said Phyllida.

“This is particularly prevalent amongst 16-24 year olds who are three times more likely to be victims than any other sector of the population.”

She said she decided to invite Nick to speak to the university’s business students because, “as the business managers of tomorrow, will have the moral and legal responsibility for the wellbeing of their staff”.

“Knowing how to spot the signs amongst colleagues and contemporaries is the first step in raising awareness and ultimately reducing the devastating impact of this deadly phenomenon, she said.

“Nick’s talk was both hard-hitting and enlightening. You could have heard a pin drop.”

Nick also talked at length about HollieGuard, a free app which turns your smartphone into an advanced personal safety device, and has now already been downloaded by 11,000 since its launch in 2015.

“It was great to be able to get the message over to the people who will be running large companies in the future, existing or maybe even their own,” said Nick.

“I was able to share with them some scary statistics including a third of all domestic abuse homicides take place at work and 50 per cent of stalking victims have now curtailed or stopped work all together.

“It is important that we get the message across that it is a serious issue and affects not only the victim but all around.”

Phyllida’s subject is Narcissistic Personality Disorder in relationships, Toxic Leadership and Corporate Narcissism.