According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, a startling 62 per cent of Australian women in paid work experience domestic and family violence.
Mounties Group, a ‘community centred, profit for purpose organisation’, with ten clubs in New South Wales, has identified the responsibility the workplace holds to identify and respond to such incidences.
Mounties Group has addressed this by launching new initiatives during this year’s National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, aiming to more fully support the Group’s staff, members and local communities.
The key initiative was the launch of the Group’s Action Plan, commencing with a luncheon event ‘Break the Silence: End Domestic Violence’, hosted by TV presenter Jacinta Tynan and including guest speakers such as NSW Women’s Safety Commissioner Hannah Tonkin; Rebecca Glenn, founder of the Centre for Women’s Economic Safety; and Gabrielle Morrisey, CEO of Women and Children First.
The Action Plan shows how workplaces can make a meaningful difference when identifying and responding to this serious issue.
Mounties Group Executive Manager – Community, Arely Carrion, is passionate about this project as she too has experienced domestic and family violence while working in the industry.
Carrion recognised the need for improvement in the workplace by way of education, awareness, and creating a supportive and safe work culture, held up by effective policies and procedures.
“If we want to end violence, we need to invest in preventing violence before it begins, intervening early and supporting delivery of frontline services, with a focus on supporting those who have or are experiencing violence,” says Carrion.
Mounties Group, an employer of over 1000 staff, has integrated ten paid days of leave into its new domestic, family and sexual violence (DFSV) policy as part of the initiative.
Further, all staff involved in developing this policy have themselves experienced domestic and family violence personally. One staff member who had experienced a particularly horrific incident has been given a role where they are able to help others on their journey.
Due to these internal policies and procedures, and by connecting with local Domestic Violence organisations, Mounties Group has been able to provide meaningful support to staff members.
John Dean, President of the Mounties Group, pointed out that family and domestic violence can affect anyone and believes the workplace has an important role in prevention and support. His aim is to inspire other workplaces to join with them to actively support their own communities.
“All support we are providing our employees will be extended to our members, this includes developing resources and access to services from our partner organisations to ensure anyone within our care, has access to help when and if they need it,” stated Dean.