Domestic Violence – Employers Can Make A Real Difference To Employees Experiencing Domestic Violence Through Targeted And Appropriate Support
The term domestic violence or domestic abuse refers to aggressive behaviour or actions carried out against a victim by someone inside their home or family, usually a partner or a spouse. The behaviour of the perpetrator is characterised by manipulation and domination in such a way that the victim is always in a state of fear for their general safety and well being. The perpetrator also threatens the victims so the victim feels horrified to talk to anyone about the abuse and hence, silently takes the blame. Domestic abuse has a wide range, it also includes financial and psychological abuse by a spouse or a partner.
Importance of Support
Domestic violence is on the rise and it is time that calculated steps are taken against it to ensure that this disease does not spread further into our societies. All victims of abuse first and foremost require support more than anything else. If they have the right kind of support system, it becomes easier for them to speak out against domestic abuse and then embark on the road to recovery. Having the right kind of support circle also reduces the risk of domestic abuse occurring in the first place, as perpetrators often prey on people who are isolated or loners because they know it will reduce their chances of getting caught.
Of all the different kinds of support a person may have, support from the workplace and employers is one of the most important. The employer can provide a safe environment to the victim where the victim does not feel judged. This results in strong benefits for the employer as well, as it raises employee morale and reduces absenteeism. There are different ways through which the employer can offer direct and indirect support to victims of abuse. Some are listed below.
- Leadership Role: The employer should take the role of a leader and start conversation regarding such issues, especially domestic violence so the employees know that their work will support them if they speak up against such kinds of abuses.
- Clear Policies: The employers should develop clear policies regarding such issues. Policies should be put in place about supporting the women who are victims and clear guidelines should also be established about about safe workplace environment free from discrimination, harassment or bullying.
- Provisions: Make provision for flexible work arrangements. For example, very small things like allocation to another department of the company or allotting a different parking spot can help the victim avoid the perpetrator. There should also be arrangements for leave for the victim, if the need arises.
- Awareness: Awareness about this particular issue must also be raised through different campaigns and programs. It should be made clear that the organization condemns all kinds of abuse, including domestic abuse. The employer’s reluctance to speak up against such issues makes them a partner in crime to gender inequality issues all over the world.
Links to Support agencies on the Gold Coast and Across Queensland for Domestic Violence
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PREVENTION CENTRE – We are a not for profit community based organisation providing specialist domestic violence support services. Established in 1992, we provide a wide range of programs to support women and their children affected by domestic and family violence. We also work with men who perpetrate domestic violence. Through the Gold Coast Domestic Violence Integrated Response we partner with government agencies, non-government agencies and other women’s services to continue to improve responses to domestic and family violence as we work toward achieving our goal of ending violence against women. We hope you will find the information here useful.
- Gold Coast
- Beenleigh, Eagleby, North Gold Coast area
- Southport Magistrates Court
- Coolangatta Magistrates Court
DVConnect Womensline – In Fear or Anxious Around your Partner? Call our Womensline. Phone 1800 811 811
DVConnect Womensline is the only state wide telephone service offering women who are experiencing domestic or family violence 24 hours a day 7 days a week. We offer free, professional and non-judgemental telephone support to you, wherever you live in Queensland. We can arrange practical assistance such as counselling, intervention, transport and emergency accommodation for Queensland women and their children who are in danger from a violent partner or family member.
Believe it or not DVConnect Womensline takes around 4000 calls every month from Queensland women who are in fear of or in immediate threat of danger from domestic or family violence, and on average we assist over 350 women and often more than 400 children to be moved to safety every month.