Harassment and Violence Prevention: Addressing Family Violence in the Workplace

June 15, 2022 -  Defence Stories

To strengthen the policies that keep our Defence Team members safe, the Work Place Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations (WHVPR), under the Canada Labour Code (CLC) Part II, came into effect on January 1, 2021.

The regulations focus heavily on prevention. The Defence Team is committed to promoting a workplace that is physically and psychologically safe and free from harassment and violence, including family violence.

What is Family Violence and is it a workplace issue?

Family Violence (you are now leaving the Government of Canada website) is defined as any form of abuse or neglect that a child or adult experiences from a family member, or from someone with whom they have an intimate relationship. Family violence can take many forms, such as psychological, financial, physical, sexual, social, verbal and even cyber.

When family violence follows a victim to work, it becomes a workplace issue. An actor of violence can present a risk to the victim or others in the workplace itself.

For example, you may have heard people say "it is a personal matter" or "it's none of my business". These attitudes can lead people experiencing family violence to isolation and discourage them from seeking help. The regulation on Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention in the workplace now ensures that those affected by family violence have access to support and guidance when in need.

Family Violence Prevention: What this means for Defence Team Members?

The inclusion of Family Violence in the Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention policy empowers Defence Team members to come forward in order to establish a safety plan with their supervisors/managers.

To support Defence Team members in addressing Family Violence in the workplace, the Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention (WHVP) Centre of Expertise has developed a Family Violence: Supervisor’s Guide. The guide includes a step by step action plan, appropriate resources  and a template for an Individualized Family Violence Safety Plan to ensure the safety of the Defence Team member as well as other personnel.

In addition to the guide, the WHVP Centre of Expertise also offers a new Family Violence in the Workplace Presentation. The presentation is an opportunity for Defence Team members to learn about the types of family violence, the cycle, the warning signs, the responsibilities of employers and employees, and available resources to all parties involved.

To schedule a presentation or for questions regarding the Family Violence supervisor’s guide please contact the WHVP Centre of Expertise.

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