[Employees, Contractors, Volunteers]
We encourage organisations and institutions to understand the importance of workplace responses in the context of a strategic holistic response to domestic, family and sexualised violence.
The response of the workplace is important to victims of domestic, family and sexualised violence for many possible reasons including their sense of self, social connections and safety. Importantly, having an income supports economic safety, keepings more options on the table for victims considering their future.
Between 55 and 70 per cent of people experiencing domestic and family violence are in the paid workforce.
UN Women, 2017, ‘Taking the first step: Workplace responses to domestic and family violence'.
- Reflect on the Futures Framework
- Follow the Leadership Roadmap
- Implement the Support Menu (Workplace Focus)
The Insight Exchange Reflections Kit collates the resources featured in the Foundations and Foundations Applied.
Workplace Responses Resources for Leaders and Managers:
Insights Paper: Experiences and perceptions of workplace responses to domestic and family violence.
This report is designed to inform and support the reflections of workplaces and employee assistance program (EAP) providers.
Example excerpts from the Insights Paper: Key results from the employee survey
- Approximately half of employees who responded to the survey did not know if their employer had a DFV policy
- The majority of employees experiencing DFV did not choose to disclose this to their employer
- Of the 34 per cent that did disclose, most disclosed to their manager or a colleague
- People who disclosed found it difficult to do so
- Fifty six per cent described the experience of disclosing with negative, mixed or neutral sentiments.
Asked what they’d most like us to influence about workplace responses to DFV, respondents’ top three wishes were for
- People in the workplace to be compassionate and non judgmental
- Workplaces to provide more, or better, tangible support and
- Improved understanding and awareness of domestic and family violence
People experiencing domestic, family and sexualised violence rely on multiple parts of a complex information and support ecosystem for their safety and wellbeing. When a person who is experiencing domestic, family and sexualised violence reaches out it might be the first, only or last time they seek support. There is no one path or preference. And every option matters.
‘Support Options’ that assume or expect victims to ‘leave violence’ add to the danger and pressures. Let’s support safety guided by what victim-survivors need now & next.
What do we need to be thinking about when it comes to the quality of our responses to domestic, family and sexualised violence?
The quality response continuum is an Insight Exchange tool designed to support critical reflection about the quality of our responses.
'There is no fence to sit on.'
View the Quality Response Continuum animation (3.30mins)
View the illustrative examples in the library of Quality Response Continuum examples.
The Workplace Scenarios Kit is designed to provide practical support to organisations as they assess their existing and potential responses to experiences of domestic and family violence. It complements the Futures Framework and other Insight Exchange materials designed to inform and support responders.
The Kit brings together extracts from lived experience narratives (as a possible proxy for employees) with real world scenarios to reveal what is (and is not) in place in your workplace to support the needs of individual employees who may seek support. It will guide organisations to establish their essential mechanisms for responding to domestic and family violence through listening, language and policies.
Explore these two reflection cards to consider your workplace responses.
The Workplace Intranet Content Guide is designed to support organisations in their intranet communication about workplace responses to domestic, family and sexualised violence. The guide is not exhaustive or conclusive. It is designed to support reflection and review of what your organisation has in place already, how that might need to be adapted, and what might be missing. Listening mechanisms to hear from people with lived experience will inform how and where further refinements can be made in your workplace responses.
No Hidden Door
Between October and December 2021, Insight Exchange audited 200+ websites from five industries as sample doors in the information and support ecosystem. The selection of industries is not exclusive or exhaustive. Read and view more about No Hidden Door and open the Guidance: Website content and functions.
The name ‘No Hidden Door’ highlights the importance of auditing the ‘doors’ to information that are currently available to victim-survivors of domestic, family and sexualised violence (DFSV).
People experiencing DFSV rely on multiple parts of a complex information and support ecosystem for their safety and wellbeing. The more disparity there is between different parts of the ecosystem, the tougher and more compromising it is for victim-survivors to access information and to navigate support. People using violence and abuse are more able to extend their use of abuse and control when information and communication about DFSV and support services are opaque, unclear or unsafe to access.
Together we can uplift communications across the ecosystem, identifying and closing gaps in our communication. Making sure no 'door' to information and support is hidden, and every 'door' offers a safe, supported discreet experience for victim-survivors of DFSV and their supporting family and friends.
Guidance: Website content and functions
This guidance is for industry employees responsible for designing, developing and delivering communications relating to DFSV, with a particular focus on digital platforms (websites).
Industries can use this guidance to inform and influence the design of content and functions on their website to communicate directly with DFSV victim-survivors. This guidance is designed to support reflection, validate the lived experiences of victim-survivors, provide access to information, and raise awareness of victim-survivors’ available options.
Scope and Limitations: The guidance focuses on content and function, not on software, aesthetic design or user navigation. Identifying and addressing gaps in website content and function is vital. Victim-survivors of DFSV also rely on the organisations’ broader commitment to cultural safety, accessibility, diversity and inclusion.
Workplace Response Resources
Other workplace related resources developed by Insight Exchange are outlined below at no cost.
Short Guide: Responding to domestic and family violence during and beyond COVID-19: A guide for workplaces
There are many great resources available to support workplaces as responders to domestic and family violence, some of which are listed in the Support Menu
Workplace and EAP Intersection
Does your workplace contract an Employee Assistance Program?
Employee Assistance Professional Association of Australasia (EAPAA) provider members (76) throughout Australasia oversee over 11,500 organisations, providing coverage to 9.4 million direct employees. (Source: Engagement Rate of the Employee Assistance Professional Association of Australasia (Inc.) October 2021).
The readiness and quality of Employee Assistance Program responses to domestic and family violence matter. Every EAP. Any workplace.
In 2021, the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) reported a range of measures that were highly prevalent among organisations offering support to employees experiencing domestic and family violence. 91% of organisations offered access to their company’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
But how much, how well and in what ways does the procuring workplace assume or ask about the quality of responses to domestic, family and sexualised violence?
A shared understanding is vital for coherent and reliable responses.
The intersection of workplaces and EAPs is important as workplaces rely on EAPS to be informed and ready to respond as part of the response menu offered to employees.
In 2022 Insight Exchange supported a subset of EAPs in Australia and New Zealand.
We invite workplaces to guide and/or signpost their EAP providers to:
- explore the Foundations and Foundations Applied materials to support workforce understanding of and responses to domestic, family and sexualised violence.
- explore and act on the No Hidden Door EAP industry report and guidance on communication
- make use of Insight Exchange insights and resources to inform and support EAP practitioners as responders
What we understand about domestic, family and sexualised violence informs how we respond; it influences how we design products, services and systems. It influences how we communicate about those products, services and systems.
The EAP Foundations includes selected resources build on understanding of domestic, family and sexualised violence.
Foundations Masterclasses - EAP Feedback
“I want to share this workshop with others. It is truly amazing!” (EAP Practitioner)
“Thank you so much for an excellent and informative session. There are many resources and workshops out there about DV, but I really got a lot out of this one because it provoked thought and reflection. I love the focus on meaning and language etc., and the 6 Foundations. Thank you and I will definitely promote it amongst my colleagues.” (Psychologist/EAP Provider)
Find out more about the foundations resources and reviews here: Foundations and Foundations Applied – Insight Exchange
EAP individuals, teams and providers can continue to directly draw from the work of Insight Exchange in alignment with the guidance on using Insight Exchange.
2022 | In 2022 we have supported EAPs in the following ways:
- Facilitating EAP Masterclasses
- No Hidden Door - EAP Industry data & Guidance: Website content and functions
- No Hidden Door - EAP customised reports per EAP
- Boxset of Insight Exchange resources per EAP Provider
- Facilitating a set of 3 EAP reflective practice sessions
- Speaking at the Employee Assistance Professional Association of Australasia (EAPAA) Virtual Wellness Day Aug 2022 & Annual Conference Nov 2022
Archive of workplace response initiatives and resources
Workplace Kit: Understanding and responding to employees experiencing domestic and family violence. A Workplace Kit (including the Insights Paper, Follow My Lead and My Safety Kit) was launched on 19th February 2020 with 46 individuals attending from 27 different organisations. Read the feedback comments from attendees at the launch. The 3 resources in the workplace kit are are accessible as distinct resources and Follow My Lead and My Safety Kit are published as new editions.
About the network of workplaces and EAPs
The network of workplaces and employee assistance programs (EAPs) was an informal, national network facilitated by Insight Exchange, through 2019/20. Participating organisations shared a commitment to improving awareness of and responses to domestic and family violence in Australia.
Participants in the network were interested in exploring the following challenges in responding to domestic and family violence (DFV):
- Understanding scope and duty of care of organisations; what role does the workplace and EAP play in responding to an individual experiencing DFV? What role could/should each of these play?
- Improving how organisations and EAPs support, not just what is offered in support of, people experiencing DFV.
- First-responder support - identifying and providing support for workplace managers and EAP practitioners responding to people experiencing DFV.
- Responding to people who use violence – how do organisations and EAPs respond to and support people using violence?
- Managing complexity including: privacy and confidentiality; understanding where organisations, and individuals within them, fit in the broader ecosystem; and negotiating EAP contracts.
Participants included: Access EAP, AGL Energy, Assure Programs, Commonwealth Bank, Converge International, CSIRO, Employee Assistance Professionals Association Australasia, QBE, PwC, Sydney Water, Tabcorp.
The Workplace Insights Paper hosts some reflection questions for workplaces and for EAPs.