While a manager or HR person can feel and express empathy and concern, it’s key to have policies that back up their words with action.
“When you have a culture that says this isn’t something you need to be ashamed of, you can expect help and support, that’s when people will come forward at earlier and earlier stages,” MacQuarrie said. Employees need to feel safe to talk about what is affecting them, whether that is domestic violence or other problems in their personal life. The more information an employer can gather, the more likely they can find an early resolution without a long term impact on the employee and organization.
MacQuarrie also stresses that employers don’t need to be experts in domestic violence to support employees. Even the smallest centres will have two key resources available to them – the police, and women’s shelters – both of which have trained experts who can help.
Help MacQuarrie and her colleagues at the research centre, which is based at the Western University, build Canadian data. Anyone 15 years or older, whether or not they’ve experienced violence, can participate in their survey here: fluidsurveys.com/s/DVatWork