Backed program targets domestic violence

The Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women & Children (CREVAWC) at the Faculty of Education has received $2.088 million to develop training for federally regulated workers to recognize and respond to domestic violence in the workplace.

Funding is provided by the Government of Canada’s Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Fund.

The training is in response to the Government of Canada’s amendments to the Canada Labour Code Bill C-65, which recognizes domestic violence as a workplace hazard and requires employer and employee training concerning domestic violence.

“There’s been an invisible barrier between work and home for a long time. We’ve assumed that what happens at home, stays at home,” said Education professor Barb MacQuarrie, CREVAWC Community Director. “The training is part of the bigger picture of creating social change where we, as a society, recognize domestic violence comes to work and impacts the workplace.”

Employers and unions have different training options. They can choose the:

  • Basic suite. An interactive one-hour format that puts employers and employees in different situations;
  • Supervisor suite. Three hours of online training that educates supervisors on their obligations in preventing and responding to domestic violence in the workplace
  • Facilitator suite. Seven-hours of online training that allows participants to interact with a facilitator in real time

CREVAWC has partnered with the Canadian Labour Congress and the Federally Regulated Employers-Transportation and Communications to implement the training.

The training will also provide employers and employees with confidence when discussing domestic violence, which means they won’t turn survivors away because they don’t know how to respond or they’re afraid of making a situation worse.

“I’m hoping to see a shift in conversations about domestic violence. This training will help reduce the stigma of those experiencing domestic violence,” MacQuarrie said.

CREVAWC hopes to expand the training programing to provincial jurisdictions as well as internationally once the 30-month pilot has been completed.