Domestic Violence is a Workplace Issue

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It causes distress to members and can affect their employment through lower productivity, absenteeism, and in some cases acts of violence being carried out in the workplace. However the workplace is also one of many places in which women can access support and information. Indeed it may be the only place they feel safe.

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence can take the form of physical and sexual violence, psychological, financial and emotional abuse, threats and intimidation, harassment, isolation, belittling and constant unreasonable criticism. People experience domestic violence regardless of their gender, class, age, race, disability, sexual orientation or trans identity. It is a pattern of behaviour used by one person to control or dominate another with whom they have, or have had, an intimate or family-type relationship. Evidence is clear that the majority of those who suffer domestic violence are women and majority of perpetrators are men. Not all domestic violence takes place in the home, or during a current relationship. Often women are most vulnerable when they are leaving a relationship, or after it has ended. Domestic violence also seriously impacts on children’s safety and well-being and there is a significant correlation between domestic violence and child abuse.

How Widespread is Domestic Violence?

It is very likely that in any workplace employees will be personally affected by domestic violence, either as a survivor or a perpetrator. A TUC survey of Trade Union women found that 54% either had experienced domestic violence themselves, or knew a colleague who had. One in four women experience domestic violence over their lifetimes. It forms 25% of all reported violent assaults, and has the highest rate of repeat victimisation of any crime. Two women a week are killed by their current or former male partner in England and Wales.

What can reps do?

Please click on the links below to find out what you can do to support women affected by domestic violence in the workplace

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Women’s Health and Safety at Work Toolkit

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