How can businesses respond to Domestic Abuse during Covid-19 and beyond? A panel of leaders from business, tech and civil society tackled this difficult and global challenge in a virtual roundtable earlier this month 9 July. The event was hosted by The B Team in partnership with One Young World, rAInbow, Thrive, AI For Good - with Chanel joining as a speaker.
Domestic abuse is an issue prevalent in every country and across society, with 1 in 3 women worldwide experiencing it in their lifetime. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to spikes in rates of violence and abuse across the globe - resulting in an estimated 20% increase in domestic abuse during the crisis and 15 million new cases for every 3 months of lockdown (UNFPA). Stress, uncertainty, economic hardship and lockdown measures are some of the factors which put people at increased risk during this time.
We need a society-wide response to this crisis, with businesses playing a critical role.
Not only is domestic abuse a dire and pressing human rights concern, it is also a business-critical issue with the potential for serious negative impacts to employee wellbeing, productivity, staff turnover, and the bottom line. Employers have a duty of care to their employees, and a unique opportunity to safely provide support for someone who might be in a vulnerable and dangerous situation. Amidst this crisis, business must recognize the increased threat of domestic abuse as well as the unique challenges of isolation and remote work in order to ensure employees have the support and resources they need to remain safe, healthy and fit for work.
What businesses can do:
- Ensure all COVID response and recovery efforts are both gender-responsive (recognizing the impact of and disparities between genders) and gender-intentional (seek to address and overcome gendered inequalities). Embed gender expertise and ensure gender balance in COVID response and HR teams.
- Proactively reach out to staff to recognize the rise in domestic abuse as a global phenomenon and provide staff with a list of local resources & hotlines - including texting and digital options for those that are unable to make calls
- Offer mental health, therapy and counseling services to employees
- Collaborate with partners and seek innovative and technical solutions, like rAInbow
- Support and protect essential health services for women and girls, such as maternal, sexual and reproductive health services.
- Consider the impact of gendered roles, inequalities and care work on remote work policies
Helpful resources you can refer to:
- COVID & Gender-Based Violence Toolkit, Business Fights Poverty
- Domestic Violence in COVID-19 Guidance Tool for Employers and Businesses, Unstereotype Alliance & UN Women
- Domestic violence and its impact in the world of work, ILO
- Specialist and direct service organizations by country, Kering Foundation
Discover 2 initiatives driving forward action
What does Thrive do?
Education on domestic abuse to help organisations and individuals de-stigmatise this taboo issue, proactively address it and support an effective recovery.
How does Thrive approach this?
Accessible education shared through digital channels and the opportunity to engage in longer term projects through our partner charities.
Business case on domestic abuse
Free communications materials
Free template policy
Partnerships with leading charities
Get in touch:
Jemima Lovatt, Thrive & One Young World, [email protected]
Use rAInbow to get reliable, safe and anonymous information on:
The types of abuse
How to spot signs of abuse and harassment
How to speak to someone at work
Helping a colleague experiencing abuse
Your company's policies & resources
Finding support near you
Get in touch:
Fernanda Munhoz, Head of rAInbow [email protected]
Alice Piterova, AI for Good [email protected]