Intimate partner violence (IPV) at work
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a prevalent and serious problem, but IPV in the workplace is not as widely recognised.
Some 20 to 25 per cent of men and women around the world are directly affected by IPV.
And a sizable proportion of IPV incidents, perhaps 20 per cent, occur at work.
IPV incidents range in severity from threats or intimidation to assaults and even homicides.
Perpetrators sometimes target co-workers as well as their intimate partners.
Many women who are victims of IPV miss time at work in addition to experiencing distress and seeking health care services.
Even when IPV occurs at home, however, it can affect the workplace.
Many victims take time off work after assaults or use healthcare benefits, including employee assistance programs.
IPV has major economic costs on top of its human costs.
In the US, about 8 million paid workdays are lost due to IPV each year, with lost productivity totaling more than USD $700 million.
The estimated losses are proportionately high in Australia, Canada, and other countries.
It comes as no surprise that governments and businesses are taking steps to deal with IPV in the workplace.
Many jurisdictions have revised or are currently revising their occupational health and safety regulations to require employers to protect all employees from IPV in the workplace. (The province of Ontario in Canada is an example.)
In Australia, the PSA/CPSU and the Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse have developed a draft domestic violence clause for serving on employers during enterprise negotiations and adding to awards.
A number of private-sector organisations provide businesses with information and tools to enhance the safety and well-being of employees affected by IPV.
Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence and Australia's CEO Challenge, Workplace Partners Against Domestic Violence are two of these organisations.
Some good news
IPV is a problem that can be managed effectively.
Research indicates that victims of IPV are safer when they receive appropriate support and services, including from employers and co-workers.
There are steps every organisation can take to help prevent and respond to IPV.
ProActive ReSolutions has extensive experience in dealing with IPV.
- We train police, corrections, and health care professionals around the world to assess and manage risk for IPV, using tools such as the Spousal Assault Risk Assessment guide (SARA) and the Brief Spousal Assault Form for the Evaluation of Risk (B-SAFER).
- We also help organisations respond to IPV in the workplace.
- We assist in the development of policies and procedures regarding IPV.
- We train employees to recognise and respond to warning signs of workplace violence, including IPV.
- When IPV spills over into the workplace, we assess and manage the risks to employees.
If you think we can help your organisation, visit ProActive ReSolutions