HELP IS AVAILABLE: Workplaces can play a vital role in reaching out to victims of domestic violence.
HELP IS AVAILABLE: Workplaces can play a vital role in reaching out to victims of domestic violence. Claudia Baxter

Domestic Violence: spotting the signs in the workplace

HAVE you noticed a colleague or co-worker who is skipping days at work, never having any money or being constantly harassed by their partner during the day?

If so, the reason could be more dangerous than you realise.

Centacare, one of the domestic violence counselling service of south-west Queensland, has called for workplaces to become friendly environments to allow victims of DV feel safer.

CSFSS co-ordinator Shelley Bradford said the cost of DV on the economy was greater than people might think.

“Domestic violence costs the Australian economy $13.6 billion this year, either directly or indirectly,” she said.

“It impacts on the health care, legal system as well as work and productivity.

“It no longer can remain behind closed doors.”

Ms Bradford said the signs to look out for can be varied and at times seem insignificant.

“We have an opportunity to support women who are impacted by domestic violence in the workplace,” she said.

“We need to be aware of the signs to look out for.

“Things like your co-worker being contacted by their partner and her reactions to those calls. Does she look and sound stressed?

“Being dropped off and picked up every day might be that there’s only one car but it be that he wants to control who she sees and who she’s interacting with.

“Does she have money for coffee or does she take a lot of leave?”

Employers also had a large role to play to help victims of domestic violence.

She said the key responsibility of employers or managers focused on creating a safe and non-discriminatory work environment, particularly stamping out sexism or harassment in the workplace.

“If they [victims] believe they are supported, they are more likely to break free,” she said.

“We need to create a culture where it’s encouraged to stand up and say that something isn’t okay.

“Employees should be encouraged to speak up against, sexism, harassment and violence in the workplace.”

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic violence in Roma, St George or Charleville, phone Centacare on 1300 477 433.

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic violence in Dalby or Chinchilla, call Relationships Australia on 1300 364 277.

In an emergency, dial 000.


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