Domestic violence is an issue that has ramifications far beyond just the home. We have seen this recently in the news with the tragic events in Sutherland Springs where Devin Patrick Kelley, who had a history of domestic violence, killed 26 people at the church his in-laws attended.
This issue can also have a deep impact at work, as a recent study at the University of Toronto has shown.
They interviewed men who were perpetrators of domestic violence, and learned a lot about how the abuse of their partner continued at their workplace. One-third of the men said they contacted their partner or ex ‘during work hours to engage in emotionally abusive behaviour or to monitor her whereabouts.’
A previous 2015 study by the Conference Board of Canada found that 71 per cent of employers and 55 per cent of government employers reported a situation where they had to protect an employee who was a victim of domestic violence.
It is clear this is having a huge impact in the workplace and one of the most troubling findings of the U of T study is that workplaces are not doing a lot about it.
They found that no matter the kind of job, level of seniority at the job or years at the job the vast majority of men were not aware of any resources that might help them address this issue.
Lead researcher Katreena Scott said in an interview with CBC news that the first thing to do if you see behaviour that is concerning you is to have a conversation with the person and call out the bad behaviour.
“Then link the person to the kind of resources they might need,” she said. “If we want to make women and children safer we have to start talking to perpetrators. Workplaces need resources and education.”
For more resources in Alberta that can help people in a domestic violence situation visit the Government of Alberta website or call the family violence info line at 310-1818.