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Overcoming domestic violence through help from work

09 October 2013

Overcoming domestic violence through help from work


Domestic abuse is an unseen issue that employers could help tackle. One woman explains how a work scheme supported her.

Barbara (not her real name) is a director of a major UK company. When her firm became a member of the Corporate Alliance Against Domestic Violence (CAADV), the support it provided didn't seem relevant to her. But as her marriage started to deteriorate, it became a lifesaver. This is her story:

Only a year after my workforce started a programme with CAADV, the situation in my home life escalated very rapidly and I realised this is happening to me! My husband was an alcoholic and I had endured years of controlling behaviour, emotional and verbal abuse, and I was very concerned that it was soon going to get physical – his behaviour was getting very erratic and he had started throwing objects. It is no exaggeration to say that I was scared he might kill me in one of his rages, and I was also very scared for my children.

It certainly affected my productivity at work. There were days and days when all I could do in the office was just turn up and breathe. I couldn't focus on anything because I was enduring some really traumatic stuff. When I approached my boss to say I needed time and help, he was immediately supportive and I received safety planning which involved going to the police near to my work (there's no way I could have gone to the police local to my home, because my husband would become suspicious as to where I was). The police ran a risk assessment asking about his behaviour patterns, then they sat down with me and planned out the scenario because I knew I would have to leave him and that could be the trigger that made him violent.

For full story please visit: The Guardian