(Ottawa) Domestic violence is following people to work, has a significant impact on performance, and is in some cases resulting in job loss, according to survey results released by the labour movement and Western University today.
Conducted by Western University’s Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children (CREVAWC) in partnership with the Canadian Labour Congress, the groundbreaking survey asked 8,429 workers if they’d experienced domestic violence. One third said yes. Of those, 82% said the violence negatively affected their work performance. Almost 40% said it kept them from getting to work, and for almost 10% it meant losing their job. More than half said the violence continued at or near the workplace in the form of harassing emails, calls and texts, or stalking and physical violence.
One survivor said she hid or made up excuses for her bruises for years, not sure if her co-workers would support her if she told them the truth.
“I lived in a constant state of fear, worried that telling anyone would just make him even more violent,” said Melissa Corbeil. “In the end I was lucky, because my co-workers and my boss did support me, but that isn’t always the case.”
“We were startled to learn how much domestic violence follows people to work,” said Barb MacQuarrie, CREVAWC’s Community Director. “These results point to an urgent need for action on the part of unions, employers and governments at all levels to ensure people like Melissa can find the support they need in the workplace,” she said.
“We’ll be redoubling our efforts to negotiate supports—like paid leave for domestic violence—in collective agreements, and ensuring union representatives are trained to provide the right kind of support in the workplace,” said CLC president Hassan Yussuff.
Yussuff said the CLC has asked to meet with federal labour minister Kellie Leitch to discuss the survey results.
“We’ve asked the minister to work with us to convene a roundtable that includes labour, employers and government, to discuss real workplace solutions, so that people like Melissa get the help they need,” said Yussuff.
Melissa tells some of her story in a YouTube video produced by the CLC to draw attention to the survey, online at domesticviolenceatwork.ca.
For more information please contact CLC Communications: Kerry Pither at 613-294-2203, firstname.lastname@example.org or Chantal St-Denis, 613-355-1962, email@example.com
[Original CLC press release.]