Our Domestic Violence Initiative Against Abuse Whether at Home or in the Workplace:
Abuse, family and domestic violence, are in their various, insidious forms and practices, illegal, repugnant, harmful and often life-threatening violations and abuse of human rights throughout the world. Statistics for Australia state that more than 40% of all women have been thus assaulted and have experienced abuse in all circumstances in both public and private spaces. Indeed, if bullying and harassment are included in the overall violence-against-women category it has been estimated that the incidence is even higher. In-depth studies suggest that in our own country, nearly 75% of all females have been subjected or are being subjected to personal, relational or workplace domestic violence where perpetrators are also part of their domestic life, family and workplace. Sadly, abuse and violence against women have soul and life-destroying ramifications for consequences for the victims who survive these abuses, their communities, our businesses and society as a whole. In addition, these occurrences may affect, harm and damage the mental health and well-being of those who survive them and these also have adverse consequences in the employment of the survivors thus unfairly restricting their abilities and fulfilment of their potential. Those who survive this violence often suffer diminishment of their ambitions, workplace participation and indirectly may cause sex discrimination in the workplace. Expert studies have demonstrated that violence victims, predominantly female, have the highest participation in occasional and casual employment where they earn approximately 62% less than other, non-victimized women. This is simply offensive, repugnant and utterly unacceptable.
There are unseen or hidden costs, consequential to violence which is borne by all individuals in our society including both private and business entities. For private entities such as the family home, there are concomitant, violence-related costs, such as family breakdowns, higher accessing and usage of government services, greater medical expenses, and more. For business entities, there are lower output costs and higher productivity costs. In-depth studies forecast that, by 2020, the total direct and indirect costs of abuse and domestic violence will burden Australian businesses with up to 6 billion dollars, every year. Nevertheless anti-violence education campaigns are beginning to have an effect and everyone can help to end violence and to create a better and safer world not just for women but for everyone. In-depth studies forecast that, by 2020, the total direct and indirect costs of abuse and domestic violence will burden Australian businesses with up to 6 billion dollars, every year. Workplaces are optimally placed to respond and support any employees victims of these abuses. This is because the workplace affords women suffering violence in their homes the opportunity to recognize violence issues and at the same time being a place where they may feel safe to seek help. The office, factory or ant private or public employment place are both workplaces and important social environments where many of us congregate and spend most of our lives. These workplaces can be safe havens, far removed from the women’s abusers and be safe places where victims cannot be subjected to abuse from their male abusers. Such havens can be places of refuge, usually with the communications infrastructure by which victims can seek and source support, help and referrals to agencies dedicated to combating these abuses. It is only when the managements of workplaces, NGO’s, public and private, educate themselves on how to recognize, comprehend and react to victims of violence that female employees will be able to access the support they need and continue to remain valued employees. A female employee who is a victim of violence at home needs to continue working and earn the income she needs to attain the economic independence necessary to escape an abusive relationship. Without such wherewithal women find it difficult, if not impossible, to leave abusive husbands, spouses or partners. Importantly, businesses supporting women in these initiatives should also adopt a Domestic Violence Initiative with policing measures against those who are violent or abusive towards women and who may be one of their employees. This is because to ignore such occurrences or not to say or not to do anything about identified, reported or known abuses, is perceived by most, if not everyone, as the same as accepting it, condoning it or acquiescing it. Making a stand against domestic violence, and to be seen as doing so, sends both a message and a warning to workplace abusers that their employer will not tolerate any human rights abuses. These courses of action help contribute towards stopping abuses against women allowing them to remain in the workforce and enhancing their advancement. In fact any business policy or initiative that positively contributes to the ending, or at least significantly decrease the incidence of domestic violence absenteeism has been proven to proffer a positive financial return. Business support of abuse sufferers and survivors enhances productivity and helps reduce new staff recruitment and training outgoings because the support and retention of existing staff is far less expensive. All Australian, and indeed, all the world’s, businesses ought to be so directed and managed to help change social stereotyping or norms that ignore or acquiesce any abuses or violence against women. Alas, we cherish the hope, and envisage a world, that respects and protects women, one in which every female may live safely and free from any and all occurrences violence and abuse from men and anyone else.
Eastleigh Frames is one of the many Australian businesses promoting a Domestic Violence Initiative. We believe that it is only by showing business leadership in tackling all violence towards women that the battles against abuse may be won. Our Management has undertaken innovative, far-sighted and far-reaching, policies to recognize, counsel and support our staff in the fight against domestic violence. We support the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and the United Nations Global Compact, generally referred to as the WEP or Women’s Empowerment Principles. These principles suggest positive pathways to companies and businesses on how to empower their female workforce at work, in the marketplace and in the community at large. We at Eastleigh Frames are proud to support these principles and have introduced our own Code of Conduct to help stamp put violence and abuse against women. Some of the initiatives and aims of our Code are: a) We will empathetically listen and seek to learn from the experiences of abuse and domestic violence survivors, b) We will consult with specialist domestic violence prevention and support organizations so as to continuously improve support for our employees, c) We will liaise with other businesses and exchange abuse and violence against women prevention approaches and policies d) We will seek to appoint, trained, internal volunteers to act as support to help any staff or employees affected by domestic violence e) We will provide generous and flexible, paid Domestic Violence Leave ( DVL) to any employee who may be a victim and we additionally will provide free information and referrals to health agencies, counselling centres and legal centres, when requested or warranted. f) We will assist in arranging temporary accommodation, or financial support to do, so for any employee at risk from abuse or family violence g) Engage with experts in these and other relationships fields to as to maximize our understanding, support and assistance towards any of our workplace members who are or may be at risk. h) We will provide professional security guards or volunteer chaperones to accompany and employee at risk arriving or leaving our workplace. i) We will honour our Code of Conduct for and to to all employees, male and female, from picture framers making picture frames in our picture framing factories to all our managerial and office staff. We will do this because we believe that all businesses, public and private, can and should participate in this movement of liberation from abuse and violence and to engender a communal commitment, ethos and beliefs that promote gender fairness and equality. In conclusion, we need to all work together, employers and employees, to form a common movement and bond in the goal of empowering women to safely, and fully participate fully in our social, economic life and family life.
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