Gender Based Violence at Work – Preventable, Not Inevitable

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Today the UN will be marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Violence against women is preventable and not inevitable, but for many women around the world it's a regular occurrence.

Don't be a victim of domestic abuse at work or at home
A consultation will take place to discuss the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention on Gender Based Violence to put pressure on government bodies to make a change.

'YES To ILO Convention On Gender-Based Violence At Work!'

The International Trade Union Conference (ITUC) have set up 'YES to ILO Convention on Gender-Based Violence at Work!' to support the ILO's convention. The International Trade Workers' Federation, of which the Communication Workers Union (CWU) is an affiliate, will also be supporting the ITUC campaign.

Violence against women and girls is a driver for poverty, impacts mental health, and can devastate physical health. This is true for women abroad and at home. One in four women will experience violence in the UK according to Women's Aid, and many describe their time being brutalised at the hands of their partner like living in constant conflict.

Unfortunately, this kind of unacceptable behaviour doesn't just stay at home, often it can affect the victim outside of the home, at work. In the UK, 2% of women lose their jobs as a direct result of domestic violence according to the Corporate Alliance Against Domestic Violence (CAADV). Often, these women leave their jobs for fear of their own safety, leading them to find other ways of supporting themselves and their families. In 2011, they also found that a third of domestic violence homicides happened in the workplace.

Protecting Women At Work

Fortunately, in the UK, we have the laws in place to protect women from gender-based violence at work and at home, but employers ultimately need to be 'clued up' on how these laws work to implement them correctly.

Your employer should be focussed on providing you with access to support, which is confidential, safe, and secure if they believe you may be a victim of gender-based violence or you have approached them.

According to the British Crime Survey Reports, if you are a victim of domestic abuse, you're more likely to experience repeated victimisation, more so than victims of any other crime. If you are reading this and you have been a victim of domestic abuse or you know of a colleague or an employee who is, this should be the motivator to get help or to provide them with information.

Becoming aware of the signs of domestic violence and abuse as an employer not only helps to prevent this type of abuse at work but it has a knock on effect for society. People spend an average of 42 hours a week at work and whilst on work premises, you're in their care.


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