Asking businesses to think about raising awareness about domestic violence (DV) with their employees often raises some common responses – “we don’t have an issue with domestic violence here” or “what happens outside of the office is not our concern”.
Depending on an organisations’ awareness, approach and response to DV in the workplace may vary depending on what the business is trying to achieve through its employee wellbeing and assistance programmes. Addressing DV within the workplace can be an uncomfortable conversation and something which is deferred due to the knowledge, skills or confidence of the manager responsible.
DV is known to impact on the working lives of those living with an abusive partner. Across the UK, the consequences are far reaching and costs UK businesses in excess of £2.7bn each year. Findings from a TUC Survey reveal the following:
- 1-in-5 survivors take time off work
- 2% lose their jobs as a direct result of abuse
- 20% of survivors had to take a month or more off work over the last 12 months
- 56% arrive late for work at least five times a month
- 13% reported DV continued in the workplace, in particular through harassing or abusive emails, or phone calls.
- 90% of survivors experienced conflict or tension with co-workers
Unsurprisingly, DV affects workplace attendance and performance due to survivors feeling distracted, tired or unwell. Living in a physically or emotionally abusive relationship is traumatic and therefore more likely to negatively affect workplace performance.
Let’s talk about it… the main barrier to survivors disclosing an abusive relationship at work is “shame” and “privacy”. If someone was to talk to a colleague at work, it would typically be a friend or manager.
Locally, NIDAS are currently running a campaign to raise awareness about DV in conjunction with an international movement called – 16 Days of Activism. From the 25 November to 10 December 2018 they are calling on individuals, organisations and businesses to sign-up to their pledge.
More information can be found here: www.nidas.org.uk/pledge
If you or anyone you know has been affected by the story above, you can contact NIDAS confidentially on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01623 683 250.