The personal distress of DV is hardly captured by figures indicating 89 deaths in 2008-10; and 6,500 hospital admissions in 2013-142. Without including pain, suffering and premature death, domestic violence was estimated to cost our community $4.2 billion in 2002-3 and is predicted to cost $8.1 billion in 20223.
Three percent of this cost ($456 million) is shouldered by organisations. Time off work to attend court, hospitals and accommodation issues are a small part of the costs. Some victims leave their workplaces due to DV, which can add to workplace costs of recruitment and retraining.
Business can also be affected by perpetrators appearing at the victim’s workplace to abuse or to force them to leave their jobs, thus increasing their dependence on their abuser5.
Workplaces have a duty of care to ensure that all employees are safe at work. There are practical steps organisations can take to keep victims of domestic violence safe while they are at work:
Victims of domestic violence can be supported in many ways5. Their safety is the most important consideration; just disclosing they are the victim of DV can increase their risk.
Workplaces can also address perpetrators’ behaviour6:
Be aware perpetrators tend to:
Perpetrators are skilled at convincing themselves and others they are not responsible. They may invite you to collude with their attitudes and beliefs.
If you or someone you know is affected by domestic violence you can contact your EAP to explore your options on 1800 629 277 or email@example.com
1. PWC - A High Price to Pay
2. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare - DV leading cause of hospitalised assault
3. Department of Social Services - The Cost of Violence
4. Australian Human Rights Commission - Domestic and Family Violence
5. Male Champions of Change - Playing our Part
6. Royal Australian College of GPs - Identifying and responding to men who use violence in their intimate relationships.