Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence impacts an individual’s physical, social, and mental wellbeing. Raising awareness of the prevalence, signs and resources available is an essential element of a psychologically healthy and safe workplace. 

  • One in three Canadian workers has experienced domestic violence at some point in their life.
  • Over half of all workers suffering from domestic violence are victimized at work.

Source: Western University 

What is Domestic Violence?

A pattern of behavior used by one person to gain power and control over another with whom a person has or has had a personal relationship. This can range from subtle, coercive forms of control to violent acts that result in physical harm or death.

Examples may include: physical violence, sexual abuse, financial control, emotional and psychological intimidation, verbal abuse, stalking and using electronic devices to harass and control.

While most statistics suggest that it is generally women who are abused at the hands of their male partner, it is important to note that abuse also occurs to children, the elderly and within Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, trans and non-binary relationships.

As a faculty or staff member of the university, you need to know how you can accept a disclosure of domestic violence and the resources that are available to support individuals impacted by violence, or even perhaps those perpetuating the violence.

Workplace Domestic Violence Awareness:

Research conducted by Western University suggests that within the workplace context, it is most often colleagues, followed by manager and supervisors, who receive the majority of disclosures from people experiencing domestic violence.

Signal for Help: Remote work environments can make it even more difficult and challenging for someone to seek assistance. Signal for Help is a way to signal to colleagues and co-workers, through an online platform, that you are in an unsafe environment and that you need help.  

Signal for help

What Do I Do if I Learn of An Incident of Workplace Violence?

The University of Alberta has specific information on reporting violence that occurs within the workplace. Please review the information contained within the UAPPOL Hazard Identification, Assessment and Control Procedure, Appendix B - Violence Prevention.

Further, the policy indicates, workers who witness or experience workplace violence are encouraged to report the incident promptly by completing the U of A’s online incident report.

Delayed reporting could endanger the faculty or staff member, compromise collection of evidence and produce other challenges during the investigation.

Employees may also contact: 

  • Office of Safe Disclosure 780-248-1894
  • Helping Individuals at Risk (HIAR) 780-492-4372
  • University of Alberta Protective Services (UAPS) 780-492-5050
  • City of Edmonton Police 911

Employees may report anonymously; however, this may limit the ability to address the complaint and take appropriate next steps.

Workplace Domestic Violence Education:

U of A Resources:

  • Why gender-based violence is a public health issue” article from the School of Public Health
  • Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) - the university has worked closely with the EFAP program to ensure they maintain clinical experience and expertise with domestic violence so they are positioned to provide support to those impacted by domestic violence.
  • Helping Individuals at Risk - Helping Individuals at Risk (HIAR) is a confidential, centralized resource for members of the campus community to report worrisome behaviours or concerns about individuals at risk of harming themselves or others.
  • Safe Disclosure and Human Rights - The Office of Safe Disclosure and Human Rights provides confidential disclosure services as well as advising and consulting on any issue relating to Human Rights, Discrimination, Harassment and Accommodation issues.
  • University of Alberta Protective Services - University of Alberta Protective Services (UAPS) provides a positive university environment for students, staff, faculty and visitors through the prevention, intervention, and response to risks and emerging issues related to safety and security.

Additional Resources:

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