A Workplace Guide to Preventing and Responding to Domestic Violence

This guide has been developed as an extension of the Australian Services Union (ASU) campaign to end domestic violence. It is the women, children and men whose lives have been destroyed by domestic violence that have driven the ASU’s determination to end domestic violence and the misery it causes for victims and survivors.

ASU members have taken this campaign into their workplaces and communities, to the streets and our parliaments calling for paid domestic violence leave and funding for the vital services needed to support victims of domestic violence to live free from that violence. Domestic violence occurs beyond the family home, it occurs in vehicles, shopping centres, local parks and workplaces. If it occurs in your workplace or one of your co-workers is experiencing domestic or family violence, how people in your workplace respond can make a difference. Workplace intervention can reduce further harm and challenge beliefs that underlie violent-supportive attitudes that contribute to family and domestic violence. 

This guide is designed to be used in all the types of workplaces found across New South Wales and the ACT. It aims to be a practical resource not an academic paper. The guide also aims to raise awareness about domestic and family violence in the workplace. It describes the signs and effects of domestic violence and gives practical examples of how workplaces can support workers experiencing domestic violence to leave a violent relationship. Most importantly, it demonstrates why domestic violence is a workplace issue and how employers, managers and fellow workers can make a real difference in supporting a worker to live free from domestic violence.