In addition to being a source of financial security, the job could once be a place of respite, out of the presence of a violent partner.
May 17, 2020 10.03 a.m.
Domestic Violence and telework : employers arrested
The Canadian Press
MONTREAL — While the telework gum even further the boundary between personal and professional life, it is high time that employers are aware of their responsibility in the prevention of domestic violence, support groups for women.
In addition to being a source of financial security, the job could once be a place of respite, out of the presence of a violent partner. But with the containment measures imposed in the context of the pandemic COVID-19, these opportunities to escape her attacker are rare — and by the same token, the opportunities to get help too.
Result : the phone no longer rings so many in shelters, reports the coordinator of the Women’s House of Baie-Comeau, Hélène Thousand. And when it rings, sometimes it’s a woman who called in during a walk or other hidden in his wardrobe, ” she adds.
The usefulness of the workplace to protect victims of domestic violence is on the radar of organizations of the North Shore for more than ten years already. Groups of women in the region have turned to the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM) to develop the issue further.
With respect to the transition on a massive scale to telework, the team currently produces videos to raise awareness among employers of their role often unsuspected in this period particularly critical for victims of domestic violence.
“Abusive relationships have free rein in the shelter of the glances and in a context where the worker is more isolated than ever,” said Rachel Cox, a professor in the department of legal sciences at UQAM, who has been involved for about a year in this project.
According to a study released by Statistics Canada last month, a woman in ten feared the violence in his home during the confinement in the country.
Employers are urged to take the news of their staff, stay alert for signs of distress and be open to a report in privacy.
If the need arises, they can call on the expertise of the safe houses, women’s centres, centres d’aide aux victimes d’actes criminels (CAVAC), and other specialized resources of their region, says it is.
The capsules also call to discuss accommodations, such as more flexible hours, a return priority in the workplace and the possibility to consult the help resources on the working time.
Beyond these concrete measures, the attitude of the employer may send the message that domestic violence is not a private matter, but a problem of society, argues Rachel Cox.
“The reaction of the employer may often be a crucial moment where the woman victim of domestic violence, sees how she is received when she denounces the situation that she lives in the house,” says the professor.
Ms. Cox believes that the quebec pension plan in respect of health and safety in the workplace should explicitly recognize the obligation of employers in the area. Such provisions already exist in six canadian provinces.
In Ontario and Alberta, it took for women to be murdered at work — where their situation was well known — that governments legislate, stresses Rachel Cox. “Do not expect that there is a case in Quebec.”