Signs of DV in the workplace
Businesses key to helping break the cycle of violence
HAVE you noticed a colleague or co-worker who is skipping days at work, never having any money or being constantly harassed by their partner during the day?
If so, the reason could be more dangerous than you realise. Centacare, one of the domestic violence counselling services of south-west Queensland, has called for workplaces to become supportive environments to allow victims of DV to feel safer.
CSFSS co-ordinator Shelley Bradford said the cost of DV on the economy was greater than people might think.
“Domestic violence costs the Australian economy $13.6 billion this year, either directly or indirectly,” she said.
“It impacts on the health care system, legal system as well as work and productivity.
“It can no longer remain behind closed doors.”
Ms Bradford said the signs to look out for can be varied and at times seem insignificant.
“We have an opportunity to support women who are impacted by domestic violence in the workplace,” she said.
“We need to be aware of the signs to look out for. Things like a co-worker being contacted excessively by their partner and her reactions to those calls. Does she look and sound stressed?
“Being dropped off at work and picked up every day – might be that this is necessary, or it may be a way of isolating her from others by controlling who she’s interacting with.
“Does she have access to money for coffee or work related expenses, does she take a lot of leave?”
Employers also have a large role to play to help victims of domestic violence.
She said the key responsibility of employers or managers focused on creating a safe and non-discriminatory work environment, particularly stamping out sexism or harassment in the workplace.
“If they [victims] believe they are supported, they are more likely to break free from the violence,” she said.
“We need to create a culture where it’s encouraged to stand up and say that something isn’t okay.
“Employees should be encouraged to speak up.”