HELP AVAILABLE: Workplaces are able to help employees affected by domestic violence.
HELP AVAILABLE: Workplaces are able to help employees affected by domestic violence. Contributed

Supporting domestic violence victims in the workplace

BUSINESSES across our region now have a guide to help them support employees who are experiencing domestic violence.

About 1.4 million Australian women are domestic violence victims and about 800,000 are holding down jobs at the same time.

A report released yesterday shows the epidemic will cost Australian business $609 million a year by 2021.

The report, by KPMG Australia for gender equality business-based organisation Male Champions of Change, says finances often stop women leaving abusive relationships.

MCC chairwoman and former sex discrimination commissioner Elizabeth Broderick said domestic violence was a workplace issue.

"Our workplaces assist in keeping employees safe, providing economic independence that supports women's choices, and playing a leadership role in the community," she said.

"Furthermore, workplaces can also ensure perpetrators are not able to make use of work resources such as email and phone to carry out their abuse.

"Workplaces can play their part in addressing this significant issue."

The MCC comprises 30 Australian management heads from major employers who are working towards having more women in leadership roles.

Playing Our Part: Workplace Responses to Domestic and Family Violence, which offers a range of practical tips and organisation test cases, is available for download from

If you need support contact Queensland's DVConnect Womensline on 1800 811 811 or DVConnect Mensline on 1800 600 636; NSW's Domestic Violence Line on 1800 656 463; or the national support line on 1800 RESPECT.