Every day thousands of women across Alberta go to work fearful that their abusive partner could arrive at the door. The cost of this abuse for women and their children is enormous. But employers also face a significant cost. The annual monetary impact of domestic violence on a workplace is $85,000 per 100 employees.
Welcoming the recent legislative changes Jan Reimer, Executive Director of ACWS said,
“Women fleeing domestic violence are extremely vulnerable. This vulnerability is exasperated if employers do not support them. Two-thirds of women who enter Alberta's second-stage shelters are homeless. A woman who loses her job because she is fleeing from an intimate partner is more likely to end up homeless or dealing with mental health or addiction issues.”
“Ensuring that these vulnerable women have some job protection is an important first step in a societal response that supports building the resilience of survivors and their capacity to start new lives free from violence and abuse. We hope that employers across the Province will use these legislative changes to create an effective response to domestic violence in their workplaces."
Isabel Bernete, Director of PC Corp commented,
“Employers play a central role in keeping their staff safe. The primary impact of domestic violence is on women and their children. But we know that 90% of domestic violence survivors will communicate their situation to a colleague. So this impacts every employee, as well as the financial bottom-line. Employers should have an action plan in place to deal with a disclosure of domestic violence. That is why PC Corp is proud to partner with ACWS by providing training to our organization on this vital issue.”
Opening the event Minister of Labour the Hon. Christina Gray said,
"No one should live or work in fear. By ensuring that Albertans fleeing domestic violence can take ten days away from work without losing their job, we can better protect survivors who need time off to find a place to live, see a doctor, access critical supports, and begin healing. Our government is committed to working with partners like the Alberta Council of Women's Shelters to end domestic and family violence in Alberta."
- On May 24th the Alberta Ministry of Labour introduced Bill 17, the Fair and Family-Friendly Workplaces Act.
- The Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters (ACWS) Leading Change program trains business leaders to guide a friend or colleague facing domestic violence so they can provide an effective intervention to keep the woman and her colleagues safe.
- PC Corp is an Alberta business which provides IT services to companies throughout the Province. It employs 40 staff located in downtown Edmonton and Calgary.
- The training is funded by a grant from the National Victims and Survivors of Crime Awareness Week (NVSCAW), the 28th of May to the 3rd of June. The NVSCAW theme for 2017 is ‘empowering resilience’.
Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters (ACWS)
ACWS supports member shelters and works together to end domestic violence and abuse. ACWS was incorporated in 1983 and is a registered charity.
ACWS provides a 24 hour emergency phone line which women can contact to be directed to their nearest women’s shelter: 1-866-331-3933.
A map of all women’s shelters in Alberta is available online at www.acws.ca/shelters
Charity Registration: #118780634RR0001
For further information, please contact:
Communications Advisor, ACWS