Survey points to impact of domestic violence on the workplace

Survey points to impact of domestic violence on the workplaceToronto – December 3, 2014 – The impact of domestic violence goes far beyond the home and into the workplace, as detailed in a new survey of 8,429 workers across Canada.

The groundbreaking, online research project is the first-ever Canadian survey on the impact of domestic violence on workers and workplaces. It was produced by the Centre for Education on Violence Against Women and Children at Western University, with support from the Canadian Labour Congress and affiliates. For this survey, domestic violence was defined as any form of physical, sexual, emotional or psychological abuse, including financial control, stalking and harassment.

A third of the survey’s respondents reported they had been victims of domestic violence (DV) by an intimate partner – and that the threat of violence often followed them to work through harassing phone calls, text messages, and sometimes stalking outside the workplace.

Among those experiencing DV at home, 89% reported it negatively impacted their performance at work because of stress, fear, and lack of sleep. 86.6% of workers who reported to their union that they were victims of DV, said their union acted in a positive way to assist them through the trauma and workplace issues that resulted.

“Violence is not welcome anywhere. Not at home. Not in the workplace,” says UFCW Canada National President Paul Meinema. “Ontario and Manitoba legislation which addresses the impact of domestic violence that follows the victim to work should be adopted by the other provinces,” says Brother Meinema. “Beyond that, we must be vigilant and proactive in supporting workers faced with domestic abuse, and continue our work with employers to ensure that they provide a safe environment, and offer the supports that are needed by workers facing domestic violence.”