New Warning Signs for Spotting Abuse & Canadian Labour Laws Supporting Victims

Six months into quarantine, many of us fortunate enough to work from home have realized that we took perfunctory office routines for granted.  Strolling over to coworkers’ desks to chat about their day or taking much-needed lunch breaks in the cafeteria now feel like bygone cherished traditions.  Going to work not only adds structure to our day but also offers valuable social interaction.  We are invested in our colleagues’ well-being and they in ours; to varying degrees, they are sources of emotional and psychological support.  Seeing our co-workers on a regular basis also helps us flag anything amiss.  It’s much easier to notice if someone seems upset, tired, or distracted when you are frequently around them. 


Everything Wrong with Zero Tolerance Policies & Why Progressive Discipline is the Future

News stories following athletes accused of domestic violence flow like clockwork: after allegations surface and gain traction, players’ affiliated teams swiftly announce pre-emptive firings.  Immediately, teams absolve themselves of any responsibility in rehabilitating the player, capped with an opportunity to tout their “zero tolerance” policies.  Meanwhile, athletes are left to independently confront their actions and navigate their rehabilitation without any support from an organization that was once incredibly important to them. 



Unifor Women’s Advocates remain active during Covid-19

Women’s Advocates for the workplaces who have been laid off as well as those working from home are able to be contacted remotely through dedicated email addresses or cell phones. Advocates are working to reach out to local services, including shelters, to determine whether new protocols are in place due to the pandemic. Shelters have had to put rules in place due to physical distancing. Some have had to offer shelter in hotels where their shelters are full or they need to reduce the number of people at the shelter. Some shelters have put new processes in place to allow women to contact them for support, counselling and safety planning. Using text and online chat can allow women to reach out without being overheard by their abuser.  

The value of being prepared

The pandemic is teaching us the extraordinary value of preparedness. When the lockdown started in early March, it came as a shock that society could so suddenly be closed. The implications for citizens who are vulnerable have been highlighted in devastating ways, showing us that a deep-rooted health crisis was already present. Vulnerability and social disadvantage are reflected in the demographics of those who die.

National Day of Mourning – Remembering Victims of Workplace Sexual Violence

On June 2nd, 1996, sixteen months after she had filed a sexual harassment complaint against him, Theresa Vince was murdered at work by her supervisor. On November 12th, 2005, Nurse Lori Dupont was murdered by a co-worker whom she had previously had an intimate relationship with. Despite these deaths occurring at their respective workplaces, in both cases a coroner’s inquest only occurred because of the lobbying efforts of families, women’s advocates, and organized Labour, academics, survivors, and community groups.

How Employers Can Help when Home Isn’t Safe: Domestic Violence and COVID-19

As the spread of COVID-19 forces Canadians to stay home, people who live with an abusive parent or partner are at increased risk of violence. Employers have a role to play in ensuring that their employees stay as safe as possible.

This morning the federal government announced $50 million for women’s shelters and sexual assault centres, along with a host of other measures to help workers and businesses get through the pandemic. The emergency relief is important. Shelters are facing complex challenges as they work to ensure safety throughout the crisis. New feder

Impact of Violence on the Workplace - Part 2

I thought it would be useful to find numbers on domestic abuse in Canada to give a sense of the scope of the workplace impact. I found, perhaps not surprisingly, that stats on Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) in Canada reveal that numbers are readily available for physical and sexual violence. Little information is available, however, regarding other types of aggression in intimate relationships including neglect, verbal and emotional abuse, financial and social control, and male entitlement.

Impact of Violence on the Workplace - Part 1

Trying to avoid spilling my precious morning coffee while lugging the ancient beast of a laptop, I settled awkwardly into a spot at the café that was my “second living room.” The kids were just off to school and I was determined to make this the morning that I wrote my first blog post for Centre for Violence Against Women and Children. I had shared my story with the Centre a few months earlier and had been invited to write about a couple of topics; the impact of domestic violence on the workplace would be my first.

Best of 2019 at MIOB

This past year has been full of change. The influence of the #MeToo movement in the workplace cannot be downplayed, with many more women feeling encouraged and supported to come forward with their experiences of harassment and abuse. It has also helped to create better practices and policies within organizations, while also opening the doors to have these conversations. At Make It Our Business, we have continued to focus on educating workplaces and organizations with a variety of training options, while also discussing issues that are becoming more mainstream or need to be at the forefront of issues, especially through our blog.


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