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Why there needs to be more education around family and domestic violence at work

By Jack Campbell | |4 minute read
Why There Needs To Be More Education Around Family And Domestic Violence At Work

Family and domestic violence can often be considered a taboo topic that many don’t want to acknowledge.

In and out of the workplace, people are calling for more transparency and discussion to support those suffering.

“A lot of people don’t actually realise that what it can classify [as]. The fact that even a sibling, child, grandparent, former partner, de facto, former de facto, all of this constitutes family and domestic violence,” said mental health advocate and keynote speaker Tammy Hewitt.


“And that can be verbal, emotional, financial abuse that’s occurring. This is what I think we’re missing, to be honest, that this policy or legislation has come out and businesses have adopted these policies, but I don’t see the awareness from a government level.”

Ms Hewitt said businesses should be going beyond the minimum requirements set by government legislation and provide proactive support and awareness for staff who may be struggling with family or domestic violence.

“I know for me going through verbal and emotional abuse, I went through that for 11 years, and I didn’t see that at the time as domestic violence,” she said.

According to Ms Hewitt, the pandemic saw a positive turnaround as people rallied together, which influenced the way businesses deal with domestic and family violence.

This added support was certainly needed as there was reportedly an increase in incidents as abusers were spending more time at home, and response times were slowed.

“I think with COVID-19, we’ve seen the real positive side of people coming together, but I think it’s that polarity, where it has also shown the light on people that are stuck in the old and that are potentially not thinking about the other person. That’s just so important. Because those people, there’s not a place for them in this world anymore,” Ms Hewitt explained.

“I truly believe that as we move into the next couple of years, people like that, businesses like that are not going to survive because employees are speaking up a lot more and they’re demanding change and a culture.”

The transcript of this podcast episode, when quoted above, was slightly edited for publishing purposes. The full audio conversation with Tammy Hewitt on 27 February 2023 is below, and the original podcast article can be found here.

Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell

Jack is the editor at HR Leader.