Organisations benefit from preventing intimate partner abuse, study

 

5 December 2014

 

Organisations stand to gain from helping reduce the level of family violence in our society, says a newly published study.

 

The report Intimate partner violence and the workplace has been published via the New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse. Authors are Margaret Rayner-Thomas, Janet Fanslow, PhD, and Robyn Dixon, PhD.

 

Addressing key messages from their study, the authors believe that by actively engaging with the realities of intimate partner violence, organisations can avoid taking on the financial and resource costs associated with its occurrence and impacts in the workplace.

 

“Most importantly, it will help establish healthier and more equitable workplaces for all employees.”

 

Other key messages include the following:

• Intimate partner violence is common.

• Many victims and perpetrators are in paid work.

• Workplaces provide an ideal place for intervention and raising awareness about intimate partner violence.

• Barriers to action by workplaces can include: a lack of understanding of the size, nature and impact of the problem and not knowing how to respond to the issue; not recognising the high cost to their businesses.

• Active adoption of strategies to support those who experience intimate partner violence is important to secure their long-term safety. There are local and international examples of these strategies. These include:

 

- Adopting workplace practices and policies (e.g. flexible work hours, flexible work locations, security practices, awareness raising)

- The inclusion of entitlements that support victims’ safety in collective agreements

- Partnering with specialised family violence agencies to support inhouse training and facilitate referrals

- Legislation, related to work leave, anti-discrimination and occupational safety and health.

 

Note: Intimate partner violence is described as including  physical violence, sexual violence, psychological/emotional abuse, economic abuse, intimidation, harassment, damage to property and threats of physical or sexual abuse towards an intimate partner.

 

 

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