The Impact of Domestic Abuse in the Workplace and How Non-Molestation Orders Help

by Legal Author on August 26, 2021

While domestic abuse and molestation may happen at home, its devastating impact extends to every aspect of the victim or survivor’s life. It can cause emotional and physiological trauma that can also affect a person’s work life. As a result of work absences related to domestic abuse, a published KPMG study for Vodafone found that UK businesses lose £316 million each year.

No one deserves to endure this horrific crime. Supporting and providing specialist services and resources for vulnerable employees can make a real difference. Be it suspending disciplinary issues arising from absences or providing them information about non-molestation orders for legal assistance, a safe and supportive workplace response can help victims and survivors, and in turn, the company.

What is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse or violence encompasses all kinds of physical, emotional, psychological, sexual, financial, and digital abuse. That includes any incidents or patterns of incidents of threatening, degrading, controlling, or coercive behaviour by a partner, ex-partner, family member, or carer. Legally, the abuse is handled by domestic abuse solicitors who have extensive knowledge of the proceedings and represent the victims of this case in court.

You or your co-worker, regardless of gender, can fall prey to domestic abusers. But in the majority of cases, you might notice that women experience domestic abuse while men perpetrate the crime. That is why it’s considered a form of gender-based violence internationally.

How does domestic abuse affect a victim and their workplace?

Domestic abuse or molestation can have a significant impact on a victim or survivor’s working life. It can:

  • Increase rates in sick leave because of poor physical or mental health
  • Increase workplace absences
  • Reduce their ability to get to work due to the abuser hiding the car keys, inflicting injuries, or more  
  • Negative impact a victim or survivor’s work performance, confidence, or self-esteem
  • Force them to resign from their workplace or move away to escape their abuser

Aside from affecting the victim’s safety, domestic abuse also poses a risk to other people in their workplace. For example, your abuser may threaten your colleague, especially if both of you are close.  Other effects of domestic abuse on an organisation and staff can include:

  • Negative impact on a team’s working performance and the company’s quality of services
  • Reduces reputation due to company negligence
  • Being followed to or from work
  • Covering for colleagues when they are absent from work
  • Being subjected to questioning about a victim’s location or contact details

If you or your co-worker experience any of these, it’s best to seek help from HR or go directly to a domestic abuse solicitor and apply for a non-molestation order. Currently, the stigma of domestic abuse may prevent victims and survivors from freely talking about it to anyone at work. That’s why offering a safe and supportive workplace system is crucial.

What can the law do to protect you and other employees?

One of the best ways to address domestic abuse is through legal action. The law enables victims and survivors to apply for injunctions, such as non-molestation orders, that protect them against their abusers. A non-molestation order typically lasts a few months to a year, depending on the family court judge’s decision. The application for this order can also act as an interim injunction, which means it will stay in place until the judge issues an official decision.

How do an occupation and non-molestation order protect you and other employees?

When a judge serves a non-molestation order to your abuser, they won’t be able to harm you or your children. Depending on the conditions granted by the court, it can prohibit the respondent from pestering, harassing, and using or threatening any violence against you. They might not be able to come within a few meters of your home.  

The non-molestation order can also prevent your abuser from contacting you by phone, mail, email, social media, in person, or any method, except through your domestic abuse solicitor. Moreover, this injunction might include prohibiting your abuser from attending or contacting your workplace. Non-molestation orders, in turn, also protect your workplace and co-workers.  

And for more information on the KPMG study you can read more here.

Legal Author

Legal Author

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