Are workplaces failing domestic violence victims
31st March 2017
Today, White Ribbon Australia will recognise sixty workplaces that are taking proactive steps to prevent and respond to violence against women, accrediting them as a White Ribbon Workplace.
For those wondering what the workplace has to do with domestic violence, let’s look at the facts. Almost two thirds of women who experience violence at home are in the paid workforce. However, a recent survey reveals that less than half of those experiencing abuse actually disclose it to their supervisor, and of those, only ten per cent find their manager’s response helpful.
Benetas’ CEO, Sandra Hills, says this simply isn’t good enough.“Benetas recognises that employers have an important role to play in the prevention and response to family violence. Which is why we’re proud to be officially recognized as a White Ribbon Workplace”, Ms. Hills said.
“Disclosure is often traumatic for people experiencing domestic violence, and it can also be a stressful time for
managers receiving the disclosure”, Sandra said.
As part of the White Ribbon Workplace accreditation, Benetas engaged Family Violence Expert, Petra Begnell, to train managers to recognise the warning signs of domestic violence, respond to a disclosure of violence, and to refer an individual to an appropriate service.
Benetas’ White Ribbon Ambassador, Chris Karagiannis, said training and support for managers is crucial. “Staff experiencing domestic abuse may appear anxious or upset, have trouble concentrating, receive numerous unwanted telephone calls during the day, or take a lot of sick leave, in addition to injuries which don’t seem to fit the explanation”, he said.
“Managers need to be able to recognise these signs, and have the confidence to respond appropriately”. Following this week’s announcement, the total number of Australian employers to achieve accreditation will be 106, with 78 other organisations working toward accreditation.
“This is a very positive outcome”, said Ms. Hills. “However, with over two million businesses in Australia, we would like to see more employers pursuing White Ribbon Accreditation. By doing so, we can drive social change to help end family violence”, Sandra said.