Domestic Violence Spill Over

It is estimated that one in three families in New Zealand experience domestic violence. Women are the most common victims – although more men are talking about being victims of domestic violence as well. Most battered women are also working women and there is a flow on effect into the workplace we call ‘spill-over’.

Spill-over includes performance decline, absenteeism, staff turnover and health costs. Victims of domestic violence are more often late to work, leave work early and have more absences. 74% of victims of domestic violence are also harassed at work by the perpetrator by telephone or in person.

In Australia this spill-over effect is said to costs the Australian businesses $1.5 billion a year. It is likely that these figures are a low estimate.

In the US, 75% of human resource professionals and 66% of executives believe domestic violence is a workplace issue and that their company’s performance would benefit from addressing it.

Victims of domestic violence go largely unnoticed in the workplace because workplaces generally are not aware of the problem and do not have information or supportive systems in place. This often leaves the victim in a vulnerable position.

We advise employers to have a domestic violence policy that will provide safety for victims and also provide avenues for support.

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