Step 5: Follow-up and communication

It is not only a question of facilitating the return to the employment of women facing domestic violence. It is also necessary to help them keep their jobs (job retention). Domestic violence is not a private matter. Violence has an impact on work. In this sense, companies can offer a safe place, where women can talk about their problems and find resources.

The ACTIV project aims to support companies and strengthen their involvement in providing a welcoming environment for employees facing domestic violence. We want to help companies to develop an action plan: communication, training of employees, development of measures such as geographical and time flexibility are practices that can be put in place by companies.

Objectives

The main objectives at this stage are to ensure that every woman:

  • Participated in career counselling or/and to a training course or educational programme
  • Know to find employment or they already have a job
  • Are supported to maintain their jobs
  • Those who are not employed or engaged in an education programme will receive
    further guidance to meet their personal objectives.

At the end of step 4, women could participate in Support Groups, where they are offered help to overcome personal, financial, and professional challenges, through specialised help provided by a psychologist or by helping each other.

Challenges for the field workers involved

The main challenge for field workers is to identify any issue that limits or prevents women from successfully implementing their professional plan (basic needs, self-esteem, etc.).

In order to consolidate the results achieved during the socio-professional reintegration, field workers can continue to communicate regularly with the women and meet them once every month or so. This way women can be advised and helped to overcome daily challenges such as kindergarten or school for children, finding a new home or even to maintain or find a new job.

Coordination with other field workers might be needed.

Breaking the silence is not easy, it requires a lot of mental strength and accompaniment. Having people who care about you, seek the best for your future, and also speak from experience, as they have been through similar situations, is priceless.

Ana Bella Foundation

Resources for the field workers

Setting up a support group for women victims of violence: why and how?

The support group for women confronted with domestic violence is a therapeutic intervention that involves their voluntary and structured participation in the debate and identification of solutions to certain common problems.

Available here.

Challenges for companies

The pathway and resources show why domestic violence is part of gender-based violence. Once the company is aware of this issue, the employer must continue to raise awareness of domestic violence and its impact on the workplace to make the company as safe as possible. The CEASE e-learning is available for this purpose.

But it is also necessary to include the fight against domestic violence in gender equality plans and in internal company policies in order to sustain the actions implemented.

Finally, it is important for the company to ensure that its employees remain in work and feel good at work by taking preventive action and tackling all other forms of violence to which they may be subjected.

I think that a job is important for any responsible person, but I think that for women who come from a violent environment it is even more important because it is the only solution to become financially independent, to develop confidence in your own forces, and to move forward despite the past and problems.

A woman confronted with DV

Resources for the field workers

CEASE e-learning

Designed to be short and accessible, this e-learning aims to make it easy for anyone to learn about domestic violence, its impact on the workplace, and initial advice on how to deal with a colleague experiencing domestic violence. For the moment, e-learning is available in French, English, and Dutch.

Available here.

How to integrate domestic violence within companies' global policies?

The purpose of this tool is to provide companies with the information they need to integrate domestic violence in company agreements, in particular by proposing a clause template.

Available here.