H9. Domestic Violence: Benefits to public health

Benefits to public health

Domestic violence can have a devastating and long term effect on a survivor’s mental health. It is probably the most prevalent cause of depression in women, and can result in self-harm, suicide and post traumatic stress disorder. Children who live with domestic violence are at increased risk of behavioural problems and emotional trauma and mental health difficulties in adult life. The workplace offers the opportunity for survivors to seek help and to signpost to support and protection. Furthermore, given evidence that good work can be good for health, ensuring that survivors can remain in work can help protect their health and wellbeing.

Benefits to employers/employees

At a fundamental level, employers have a responsibility to support and protect their employees. However, there is also a cost to companies in terms of paying for sickness absence, retention of top talent, loss of productivity and stress in the workplace. 53% of people affected by domestic abuse are absent from work at least 3 days a month and 56% of abused women arrive late for work at least 5 times per month.

75% of domestic abuse victims are targeted at work – from harassing phone calls/text messages and emails to abusive partners arriving at the workplace, often leading to physical assault or homicide. A supportive work environment can give employees the opportunity to seek the help they need and maintain employment.

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