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Sat Dec 26, 2015, 02:14 PM

It's time for employers to back domestic violence victims and stand up to abusers

It's time for employers to back domestic violence victims and stand up to abusers

With Australia suffering from a domestic violence ‘epidemic’, employers have a responsibility to protect the safety and job security of victims


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Australian of the year Rosie Batty addresses the national press club about domestic violence in Canberra in June 2015. Employers are increasingly acknowledging their role in supporting employees experiencing domestic violence. Photograph: Mike Bowers for the Guardian



Employers are starting to take domestic violence seriously. In November, the federal government’s workplace gender equality agency released its 2015 gender equality scorecard (pdf). One of the findings that stands out was that employers are increasingly acknowledging their role in supporting employees experiencing domestic violence. Almost 35% of Australian organisations now have a domestic violence policy or strategy.

It’s high time. Australia is experiencing a domestic violence epidemic. In 2014 figures showed that a woman in Australia is more likely to be killed in her own home by her male partner than by anyone else. Research indicates intimate partner violence to be the leading preventable cause of death for women aged between 15 and 44. There are undoubtedly male victims, but domestic violence is overwhelming experienced by women.

Fortunately where it was once considered a private matter, advocates like Rosie Batty have worked tirelessly to shatter this silence and momentum appears to be mounting to force domestic violence out into the open and fundamentally change community attitudes. The solutions are complex and everyone in the community has a role to play, but employers must consider their own contribution and how they can support and assist employees suffering at the hands of the perpetrators of domestic violence. They must also consider their responsibilities when it comes to the perpetrators who may also be their employees.

Perpetrators often make it difficult for victims to attend work, sometimes through abusive phone calls and emails. Perpetrators can try to locate victims at their workplace, which poses safety and liability issues, and colleagues can also be targeted. Protecting the safety and job security of victims and other staff must be a vital first step for employers.

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http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/dec/23/its-time-for-employers-to-back-domestic-violence-victims-and-stand-up-to-abusers

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Response to niyad (Original post)

Sat Dec 26, 2015, 02:28 PM

1. My job saved my life

My ex broke into my house and held me at gunpoint for 48 hours. I could not call for help, I remember the world going on outside my house oblivious to my situation and wondering how long I would live.
When I saw my chance, I escaped and went to the safest place I could think of, the medical center where I worked. They let me stay in the resident on call room, changed my shift, assigned me to a unit in another building, alerted security and instructed everyone in the hospital to answer any inquiry's about me with "she no longer works here"

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Response to gwheezie (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 26, 2015, 02:31 PM

2. I am so very happy that your work situation was able and willing to help you.

is the bastard behind bars?

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Response to niyad (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 26, 2015, 02:41 PM

3. He's dead, haha

I honestly believe because I'm a nurse and the nursing department was run by women that is the reason they protected me. A male dominated profession would have seen me as a liability.
When I showed up bruised, barefoot and terrified I knew my sisters would protect me.

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Response to gwheezie (Reply #3)

Sat Dec 26, 2015, 02:43 PM

4. you are correct about the reason you were helped. too often, domestic violence survivors

are actually fired, not protected.

glad to know that the bastard can no longer pose a threat to you.

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Response to niyad (Reply #4)

Sat Dec 26, 2015, 02:48 PM

5. This happened 40 years ago

There weren't shelters etc. I had called the police prior to this event and they actually were sympathetic to him because he told them I suddenly turned lesbian on him and put him out of his own house. And took all his money. I was expecting him to be arrested for breaking the restraining order but they just told him not to do it again.
I realized I was not going to be protected by the police, if anything it escalated him.

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Response to gwheezie (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 26, 2015, 02:52 PM

6. unfortunately, you experienced an all-too-typical police response to your life. I am so glad

that you got the support you needed, even though it wasn't from those paid to "protect and serve".

I keep thinking about nicole brown simpson, and how the police behaved when she called them about simpson's violating the RO against him--they asked for his autograph in at least one instance.

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Response to niyad (Original post)

Sat Dec 26, 2015, 03:06 PM

7. Its well past time

for every one of us to stand up to abusers. No matter what the abuse is its time to put a stop to it

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Response to madokie (Reply #7)

Sat Dec 26, 2015, 03:09 PM

8. so true.

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Response to niyad (Original post)

Sat Dec 26, 2015, 03:41 PM

9. Christmas Eve in my family gave me hope.

The anti-bully campaigns in schools may actually be doing some good outside the school.

A cousin has been in an emotionally abusive relationship for some time. The guy is a master at treating her like shit then blaming her when her feelings are hurt, and looking like the good guy to everyone else. Over time he's convinced her this is better than what she deserves.

They played host to her sister's family.... which included 4 kids ranging in age from 8 to 18. Well the 8 yr old figured out the deal in under 2 days and enlisted her siblings. One day at the dinner table the jackass started his little routine and all 4 kids let him have it. Told him he's a bully. Told him he has no right to treat anyone that way. Told their aunt (my cousin) she deserves better, can do better, and should not have to live with this. Told their parents they should help her pack and take her back to their house until she can get divorced and back on her feet.

Being challenged the fucker's true color came out for all to see. Apparently the police were called and the 18 yr old of the kids was arrested..... released a few hours later to his parents as they were leaving town early. Of course it shot the hell out of Christmas Eve.

My cousin, their aunt, spent Christmas packing up her car and this morning arranging for a U-Haul and a couple strong backs. The financial cost to her in the immediate future will be incredible but she says the kids standing up and calling a bully a bully made her realize it's not just her. It's really him.

She has some mental and emotional work to do but I think those kids saved her......


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Response to KentuckyWoman (Reply #9)

Mon Dec 28, 2015, 11:06 AM

10. tears of gratitude for those wonderful children!! thank you so much for sharing this, and

reminding us that there is hope in almost any situation.

why on earth was one of the kids arrested??? where is the abuser now? in jail, one hopes.

if possible, please let us know how she is doing. prayers for strength and healing headed her way.

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Response to KentuckyWoman (Reply #9)

Mon Dec 28, 2015, 11:07 AM

11. would you consider posting this as its own OP so that we can rec it, and for more visibility?

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Response to niyad (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2015, 11:09 AM

12. . . .

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Response to niyad (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2015, 11:36 AM

13. We have tried.

The abuser is not permitted to enter the building, but it doesn't stop him from loitering around outside. If I ever see him I give him the evil eye. He knows I'm onto him and he avoids making eye contact with me. He often keeps her waiting around for hours after work for her ride home. She won't accept a ride from anyone here because there would be...repercussions.

Unfortunately, even our company's loosely-enforced "no cell phone" policy is not enough to keep him from verbally abusing her at work. He calls the main line and harasses her endlessly if he gets put through.

Other co-workers and I who know the situation have tried giving her a Trac Fone for emergencies, but she won't take it. She's afraid he'll find it and hurt her. We've left shelter literature on her desk. I hope she's read it. We've suggested an escape kit that she can keep here if she needs to. Having worked in shelters, I know where there are ones close by.

Over-intervening can be really dangerous for her, so we have to be as discreet as we can. My co-workers and I worry about her every single day. So far she has managed to keep herself alive and coming to work, which is pretty damned amazing considering what a brute he appears to be.

Every so often I'll just pat her on the shoulder and remind her that if she wants to take steps, help is available. She is the best judge of her own situation, but it's so hard to stand by and watch.

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Response to lapislzi (Reply #13)

Mon Dec 28, 2015, 11:49 AM

14. oh my word. how utterly horrible for her, and for all of you. I know something of the

strain this puts on all of you, and honour you all for your courage and determination.

there are no easy answers in these situations (well, I can think of ONE. . . )

thank you all so much for being there for her.

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Response to niyad (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2015, 11:53 AM

15. I had no idea how truly awful this is until a friend suffered through it

A strong-willed, educated and well-employed woman who tolerates no bullshit was nevertheless hobbled by a system completely inadequate for dealing with the threat imposed by abusers.

She told me the details only months after the fact, and I was horrified to learn how hard it is for a victim to escape harm, and how easy it is for an abuser to escape responsibility.

k/r

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Response to Orrex (Reply #15)

Mon Dec 28, 2015, 11:58 AM

16. I still remember a young woman who was killed at her work by her abusive ex, even

with the RO, etc. and the guards in the building knowing it. Her office was just down the hall from my isp.

the abuser/murderer did not spend much time in jail.

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