Now we know: Domestic Violence is a workplace problem


We chose to release the results from our survey about the impact of domestic violence on workers and the workplace results in the days leading up to December 6, Canada's National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women, our deadliest single, gender-based violent crime. 

As we remember the day of the Montreal Massacre, many of us also remember personal violence that we’ve experienced, or continue to experience.

The survey included male, female and transgendered respondents. While the findings clearly show that ‎all genders can and do experience domestic violence, they also demonstrate that it is a gendered problem, with women more likely than men to be victimized and transgender people being far more likely than either men or women to be victimized. 

The survey highlights are startling. More than one third of workers across the country have experienced domestic violence in their lifetime, and for more than half of those affected, the violence followed them to work.

There are gender differences in the rates of workers who have experienced domestic violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime. 37.6 percent of women, 17.4 percent of men, and 64.9 percent of transgender individuals reported that they have experienced domestic violence in their lifetime.   

6.5 percent of survey respondents indicated they are currently experiencing domestic violence. There are also gender differences in these rates, with 7 percent of women, 4.1 percent of men, and 29.7 percent of transgender individuals reporting that they are currently experiencing domestic violence from an intimate partner.

Among those exposed to domestic violence:

  • 38% reported that the violence affected their ability to get to work. 
  • Fully 8.5% of those affected had lost a job due to domestic violence.
  • Over half reported that the violence continued at the workplace in some way, for example, harassing phone calls from the abuser, and stalking. 
  • The vast majority reported that it affected their work performance in some way, for example, due to being distracted, tired, or unwell. 

Click HERE for the full results of the 8,400-person pan-Canadian study, “Can Work Be Safe When Home Isn’t?” We’d like to thank the Canadian Labour Congress for their leadership and partnership in this initiative. 

Click HERE for our media release.

This survey provides important insights into the lived experiences of many Canadians. Domestic violence affects not just our personal lives, but our work lives as well. The survey has quantified a problem that has been almost invisible until now. The new knowledge ‎calls us to act! Every workplace needs a policy. Just as important, every workplace requires education for everyone, from leadership to supervisors to co-workers. Check the Make it Our Business training resources.