Protect workers in Australia who experience domestic violence
  • Petitioned The Hon. Julia Gillard MP

This petition was delivered to:

The Hon. Julia Gillard MP

Protect workers in Australia who experience domestic violence

    1. Shabnam Hameed
    2. Petition by

      Shabnam Hameed

      Surry Hills, Australia

Domestic violence (sometimes called ‘family violence’) can take many different forms including intimidation, coercion or isolation, emotional, physical, sexual, financial and spiritual abuse. 

Domestic violence is pervasive in all Australian communities, extending across cultural, ethnic and socioeconomic groups.

According to VicHealth, Domestic violence is the leading preventable cause of death, injury and illness for Australian women under 45 years, a higher health risk for women in this age group than smoking and obesity, and can have long- term impacts on victims’ health and wellbeing.

According to the ABS, over sixty percent of victims of domestic violence are in paid work and violence has a damaging, yet often hidden, impact on victims’ working lives.

The 2011 "Safe at Home, Safe at Work? National Domestic Violence and the Workplace Survey", conducted by Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearing house found that thirty percent of 3,611 respondent workers had experienced some form of domestic violence over the course of their lifetime.

Of the respondents who had experienced domestic violence, nearly half reported that it had affected their capacity to get to work.

Nineteen percent of respondents who had experienced domestic violence reported that the violence had impacted on them in the workplace: abusive calls and emails and the abusive person attending the workplace were the most common form of abuse experienced.

The impacts on workers included feeling distracted, tired or unwell, having to take time off and being late to work.

In many instances, the abusive person targets the victim at work or their capacity to get to work in order to force them to resign or abandon their job, or get them fired or disciplined. Once the victim loses their job, it can be difficult - if not impossible, to leave the violent relationship: without an independent income source, the victim is unlikely to have the means to pay rent or mortgage repayments and other necessary expenses.

Women who are victims of domestic violence have more disrupted work histories, on average have lower personal incomes, have had to change jobs frequently and are more likely to be employed in casual and part time work than women with no experience of violence.

Income security and employment are identified as a key structural supports to women leaving violence relationships.

Sign the petition.

Ask our Prime Minister, the The Hon. Julia Gillard MP, to ensure that all workers in Australia who experience domestic violence can be safe at work as staying in employment is critical to reducing the effects of the violence. By supporting women and men to remain in paid employment, workplaces can assist women and men on their pathway out of violence and keep the whole workplace safer.

Ask the Prime Minister to ensure that workers in Australia who experience domestic violence be protected in the workplace by:

1. amending the Fair Work Act to include domestic and family violence protections as a National Employment Standard

2. ensuring that a consolidated Commonwealth equality law prohibit discrimination on the ground of domestic and family violence.

For more information see www.dvandwork.unsw.edu.au

 

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 500 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Heidi Birkbeck BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA
      • over 2 years ago

      as a two time survivor of domestic violence, this is very important

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Alida Rae Mayze BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA
      • over 2 years ago

      Important and overdue

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Bernadette Wright GYMPIE, AUSTRALIA
      • over 2 years ago

      Women who are abused in the home are all to often marginalized in the work force making them further disadvantaged and trapped.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • kate O'Neil BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA
      • over 2 years ago

      Because domestic violence impacts everyone and we have a moral duty to support the most vulnerable in society.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Joan George ANDERSON, IN
      • over 2 years ago

      The Hon. Julia Gillard MP,

      I request that the Commonwealth government ensure that all workers in Australia who experience domestic violence can be safe at work as staying in employment is critical to reducing the effects of the violence. By supporting women and men to remain in paid employment, workplaces can assist women and men on their pathway out of violence and keep the whole workplace safer.

      Between February and July 2011, the Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse (ADFVC) at the University of New South Wales conducted a national online domestic violence and the workplace survey. The survey on the impact of domestic violence at work was completed by over 3600 union members. A full copy of the report is available at: www.dvandwork.unsw.edu.au

      - Nearly a third of respondents (30%) had personally experienced domestic violence.

      - Nearly half those who had experienced domestic violence reported that the violence affected their capacity to get to work, the major reason was physical injury or restraint (67%), followed by hiding keys and failure to care for children.

      - Nearly one in five (19%) who experienced domestic violence in the previous 12 months, reported that the violence continued at the workplace

      - The major form the domestic violence took in the workplace was abusive phone calls and emails (12%) and the partner physically coming to work (11%).

      - The main reported impact was on work performance, with 16% reporting being distracted, tired or unwell, 10% needing to take time off, and 7% being late for work

      - Respondents who knew a person who had experienced domestic violence at work reported rates higher than personal reports: their co-worker was harassed on phone at a rate of 22%, or 17% reported the violence caused conflict with co-workers compared with 7% when self-reporting.

      - 45% of respondents with recent experience of domestic violence discussed the violence with someone at work, primarily co-workers or friends rather than supervisors, HR staff or union representative

      - For those who did not discuss the problem at work, the major reason given was ‘privacy’, followed by reasons of shame and fear of dismissal.

      - Where workplaces were able to assist, this was primarily in the form of existing paid (19%) or unpaid leave (11%).

      - Over one third of all respondents who had experienced domestic violence reported the violence to the police. 25% of all respondents who had experienced domestic violence had obtained a protection order, but less than half (41%) included their workplace in the order.

      - All respondents thought that domestic violence can impact on the work lives of employees (100%) and a high percentage (78%) believed that workplace entitlements could reduce the impact of domestic violence in the workplace.

      The Australian Law Reform Commission has recommended that the Commonwealth Government considers amending the Fair Work Act to include domestic violence protections as a National Employment Standard.

      The Australian Human Rights Commission has recommended that a consolidated Commonwealth equality law prohibit discrimination on the ground of domestic and family violence.

      We call on the Prime Minister to ensure that workers in Australia who experience domestic violence be protected in the workplace by:

      1. amending the Fair Work Act to include domestic and family violence protections as a National Employment Standard

      2. ensuring that a consolidated Commonwealth equality law prohibit discrimination on the ground of domestic and family violence.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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