When Gender-Based Violence Intrudes Upon the Workplace: Training and Support for Employers
In 2011, a groundbreaking partnership was formed between the Ending Violence Association of BC (EVA BC) and the BC Lions with the generous support of Encana and Government Partners. Together they launched Be More Than A Bystander, a public awareness and youth campaign designed to increase understanding about the impact of men’s violence against women and to offer tools, language and practical ideas on how to be more than a bystander.
As an extension of Be More Than a Bystander, EVA BC commenced a Domestic Violence in the Workplace Initiative to address the effects of domestic violence in the workplace. Building on EVA BC’s Renewing Resources Training Program in 2008 which trained over 600 employees in the natural resource sector, EVA BC works with employers to take a proactive preventative approach to domestic violence. EVA BC has developed a training module and model workplace policies to address domestic violence in the workplace.
Domestic Violence does not stay at home when employees go to work: Workplaces can prevent violence and develop safe productive worksites.
“Spousal violence is widespread and it has a significant impact on all of Canadian Society” (Statistics Canada 2009)
It has been estimated that losses to employers resulting from spousal violence in 2009 amounted to $77.9 million. Of this, it is estimated lost output costs $7.9 million, distraction is $68.5 million and administrative costs is $1.4 million. (Zhang, Hoddenbagh, McDonald & Scrim, 2012).
Workplace trainings, protections, and policies can make a difference. Addressing the effects of domestic violence in the workforce will:
- Increase productivity
- Increase safety for all employees
- Reduce absenteeism
- Reduce employee turnover
- Create healthier employees
- Create safer worksites and communities