‘Domestic violence’ leave offered


CARE International PNG is granting a extra nine-day paid leave a year to any staff who experiences violence at home.
Strengthening its stand against domestic violence, it has introduced a range of measures aimed at supporting staff who experience violence in the home.
It is believed that Care is one of the first employers in the country to introduce paid domestic violence leave.
The leave is discretionary and will be given on the understanding that the survivor of violence seeks some form of assistance, whether that is talking to someone, seeking care, legal advice or other measures that the person feels is appropriate for her or him.
“Domestic violence leave is a practical response to a serious problem and Care expects that it will send a clear message to the community that violence is not acceptable,” country director Justine McMahon said.
“Care is leading by example and telling staff in PNG that the impact of domestic violence is recognised and is being taken seriously.”
The leave is a recognition that violence in the home has an impact in the workplace, at school and in all areas of a person’s life.
While most incidents of domestic violence happen away from the workplace, their effects can impact on the survivor’s work performance through absenteeism due to injuries, sick, trauma and stress.”
Domestic violence can also impact on the workplace through the continuation of abuse during work time including violence, repeated and abusive phone calls, text messages or monitoring of movement.
The stigma that still surrounds domestic violence means that people are reluctant to talk, compounding the trauma that survivors experience. Too often others are aware of violence against a colleague but are reluctant to speak up.
A lack of timely reporting prevents appropriate support measures being put in place.
To encourage better reporting, a ‘no more silence’ clause will be added to all staff contracts encouraging them to talk to a trusted manager if they are aware of a colleague experiencing – or perpetrating – violence in the home.