Domestic Violence – It’s time for employers to stand up for their employee’s

Domestic Violence refers to aggressive behaviour by an individual inside the house, this includes violent abuse by a spouse or partner. This also includes any behavior that is intended to control the wishes of the victim, for the needs of the abuser. The victims usually stay in a constant state of fear and have a genuine concern for their well being, when they are a subject to domestic violence. Domestic violence can have many types: physical or sexual abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, economic abuse, threatening behavior and coercive behavior. Domestic violence quickly takes a toll on any person, it strongly damages a person’s self esteem, affect their relationships with their friends and family, it also damages the mental and physical health of the victim; they may develop insomnia and severe weight loss in the extreme cases.

Domestic Violence and Workplace

In addition to all the effects mentioned above, cases of domestic violence also take a toll a person’s working ability, indirectly affecting the workplace as well. Most countries in the world have recognized the need for employers to offer support for domestic abuse. Even though, it is encouraged to keep professional and private lives separate but employers cannot feign ignorance any more now that we know how closely domestic abuse is related to the working environment. It is apparent that a person who is stressed both physically and psychologically will not be able to concentrate on work and will find it difficult to carry out their duties to the best of their ability. This would consequently affect the working of a company or organization.

Perpetrators make it difficult for the victims to attend work, by using manipulative behavior, constantly calling or wanting to know where the victim is. They may also target the victim at the workplace, which could put their colleagues at risk. Protecting their employees should be the main concern of the employer. Some of the largest companies in the world like McDonalds and KPMG have made policies and laws that protect and support an individual who is the victim of domestic abuse.

Support in the Workplace

When the victim knows that the employer will offer support in the case of domestic violence, they felt safer and workplace morale increased immensely. This also took the fear of losing their jobs from the victims and helped them focus on the problem at hand. Employees can request a rearrangement inside the firm, or ask for relocation of parking spaces. These small steps can make the victim feel safe at the workplace and generate good will between the employer and the employee.

As policies have been put in place to ensure that there is no tolerance for discrimination or harassment in the workplace, there should be zero tolerance for any kinds of abuse, even the ones that happen in the privacy of the victims’ home. Employers must realize that their reluctance to do something about domestic violence makes them a part of the creation of a culture that promotes gender inequality. Until and unless we safeguard our women and children, we cannot move forward as a country.