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Issue #1756      November 9, 2016

Family Violence is a Workplace Issue

Do inform staff so they understand how intimate partner and family violence can impact work and they can feel safe enough to disclose if they need support and protection from their workplace and union.

Do be sensitive: approach your discussion with the same sensitivity and confidentiality you would use with any sensitive workplace issue.

Do assure the member that you will respect their privacy and keep the matter confidential: discussing it only with those who need to know.

Do assure them they are not to blame. The only person responsible is the abusive person. Be aware that some victims may feel that they have to manage the abusive person or may feel embarrassed that their relationship or the relationship of a family member has become violent.

Do ask what impact family violence is having on their work life: Your concern is with the impact family violence is having on your member’s ability to attend work without interference, for them and their colleagues to be safe in the workplace, and to have the necessary time to attend to their personal and family responsibilities under the circumstances.

Do encourage them to keep a diary in relation to any family violence incidents and the impact on work such as attendance or ability to work.

Do ask what they would like you to do: Do they want you to advocate on their behalf, a co-worker to accompany them to court, need to be walked to their car at night ... ? Ensure they have control over all the steps.

Do discuss a safety plan: Ask them what they need to ensure that they and their colleagues are safe at work. Go through the possible actions listed in the Safety Plan.

Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union

Next article – Vale comrade Max “Silverhammer” Cordwell

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