The facts around domestic abuse as a workplace issue are stark:
The fact that the workplace can potentially be the only safe place remaining for victims of domestic abuse really hit home.
– Participant Feedback
- More than 1 in 3 (37%) working people surveyed across multiple industries and at varying levels of seniority have experienced domestic abuse. (Vodafone Foundation, 2019)
- Almost all (94%) employees who are subjected to abuse report an impact on their work performance. (Vodafone Foundation, 2021)
- Many women are prevented from working, forced to work part-time or take sick leave, or become ill, stressed, or lose confidence as a result of the abuse they are subjected to. Some will ultimately cease working. (Safe Ireland and NUIG, 2021)
What can I do as an employer?
Supportive employers and colleagues can save lives by providing a place of safety and solidarity, serving as a nexus to community services, and also identifying cases of violence.
– International Labour Organsiation
Addressing the issue of domestic abuse as an employer is not about taking on the role of a counsellor or support worker. Rather, it is about reducing the stigma that surrounds the issue and offering a supportive space to victims/survivors. In doing so, employers can be well placed to recruit and retain high-performing employees.
Employment has been shown to mitigate the impacts of domestic abuse. Participation in the workplace serves to improve affected employees’ financial situation, promote physical safety, increase self-esteem and social connectedness, and more. Women’s Aid can guide you in adopting simple measures which allow employees subjected to abuse to continue working and realise they do not have to endure the abuse alone.
Excellent training should be part of management training in all companies and industries to raise more awareness of this issue across our society and to help managers and employees better support vulnerable colleagues.
– Participant feedback
I want to support employee survivors of domestic abuse. Where do I start?
Women’s Aid offers the Employer Response to Domestic Abuse training package, a specialist service for employers. The package focuses on three areas – training, policy, and awareness – with the aim of creating a supportive, understanding, and safe workplace environment for victims/survivors of domestic violence and abuse.