Domestic and family violence

Domestic and family violence

Macquarie is committed to preventing domestic and family violence and supporting staff who are affected by it.


Domestic and family violence is conduct that is violent, threatening, coercive, controlling or intended to cause the family or household member to be fearful. People affected by family and domestic violence may live in fear for themselves and their family, even when they have left a violent relationship. Family and domestic violence can include:

  • physical, verbal, emotional, sexual or psychological abuse
  • neglect
  • financial abuse
  • stalking
  • harm to an animal or property
  • restricting your spiritual or cultural participation
  • exposing children to the effects of these behaviours.

Support

Various support options are available including leave, flexible work arrangements, Employee Assistance Program services and risk assessment and safety planning. Refer to the entitlements and support available for staff experiencing domestic or family violence in the Enterprise Agreements and Domestic Violence Prevention and Response Guidelines (DOC).

Contact your manager, HR Client Team Manager, the Workplace Equity and Diversity Manager or the Director of Human Resources for a confidential discussion.

Flexible work schedules and paid leave options

At times you may need time off for legal matters, court appearances, housing and childcare. Managers and employees are encouraged to first explore paid options, such as personal or other leave, flexible work hours, and temporarily assigning work to another employee.

Refer to the entitlements and support available for staff experiencing domestic or family violence in the Enterprise Agreements and Domestic Violence Prevention and Response Guidelines (DOC).

Safety planning

Domestic or family violence victims may require some changes to make their workplace safer.

At Macquarie University, safety planning in response to domestic and family violence is coordinated by the HR Client Team Manager, in consultation with the employee, their supervisor or manager, and with specialist advice from the Risk and Compliance Unit's Health and Safety team where required (see Domestic Violence Prevention and Response Guidelines [DOC]).

Each person's situation will be different so safety planning will be on a case-by-case basis to meet your specific needs.

Some options that may be considered in safety planning include:

  • Considering what changes could be made to make you feel safer. You know the perpetrator better than anyone else.
  • Changing your work hours.
  • Transferring to a new site or office if possible.
  • Screening phone calls, or changing your phone number to prevent the perpetrator from calling or harassing them.
  • Providing the appropriate staff (security or reception) with a photograph of the perpetrator and copies of any protection orders.
  • Naming the workplace as a protected place in any legal orders that might be sought.
  • Limiting information that is disclosed by phone. For example, information that would assist a perpetrator to locate you or that indicates what time you would be returning should not be provided.
  • Providing additional protection for other employees, if it is determined that they also may be at risk.
  • Reviewing safety of parking arrangements and making changes as necessary.
  • Providing priority parking next to the building.
  • Escorting you to your car. Security is available to do this. Contact them on x9999.

External support services

Employee Assistance Program

1300 360 364A confidential counselling, coaching and wellbeing service free for all for Macquarie University and entity staff and their immediate family members. Immediate family members include children, parents, partners, grandchildren and siblings.

1800 RESPECT

1800 737 732

Counselling delivered by qualified, experienced professionals 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Domestic Violence Line

1800 656 463

Telephone counselling, information and referrals for women and same-sex partners who are experiencing or have experienced domestic violence.

Lifeline

13 11 14

Online, phone and face-to-face crisis support and suicide prevention services.

Mensline

1300 78 99 78

Professional telephone and online support and information service for Australian men.

Kids Helpline

1800 55 1800

A free, 24-hour counselling service for young people aged 5-25 years, offered by phone, email and over the web.

How managers and colleagues can help

You can make an important difference by supporting someone experiencing domestic or family violence if you know the four Rs:

Recognise the signs

If you believe the person is in imminent danger, call Campus Security on 9850 9999 or the police on 000.

Someone experiencing domestic or family violence may show signs of distraction, stress, crying, depression, anxiety and fear. They may be having trouble concentrating at work and managing deadlines, or require time off for legal matters to obtain protection orders or keep their children safe.

They may have doctor's appointments, counselling appointments or appointments for their children. They may have protection orders in place with conditions that prevent the perpetrator from approaching them at work.

Perpetrators of violence often attempt to undermine the work performance of the person they are targeting. They can do this by:

  • making direct threats to the person's safety
  • harassing them through phone calls, texts or emails
  • following them to work or stalking them at work
  • pulling out of childcare responsibilities at the last minute
  • depriving them of sleep.

Respond to disclosure

You may be hesitant to talk with your colleague about domestic or family violence because you see it as a personal matter. But many victims of domestic violence find it hard to ask for help and are truly relieved when someone reaches out to them. Let your colleague know you are there if they want to talk about it.

Some simple advice includes:

  • listen and validate the person's experience
  • empathise with their situation
  • affirm that the victim/survivor is blameless
  • accept difference of opinion, be non-judgmental
  • be supportive, encouraging, open and honest.

If someone does disclose an issue of domestic or family violence, it is important to maintain their confidentiality. Only those people who need to know about it to increase the victim's safety should be told.

It is difficult for victims to talk about their experience: often victims are fearful of what will happen if they tell anyone about the abuse. If the perpetrator is a colleague there are immediate safety concerns – if the perpetrator were to find out the victim had discussed the matter at work it could pose serious risk to the victim's safety.

It is important to also care for yourself after hearing their story. You can contact the Employee Assistance Program to seek further advice and support in responding to a colleague who is experiencing domestic or family violence. Contact your HR Client Team Manager for assistance if required.

Refer the person

You are not expected to be a counsellor. Urge the person to talk to someone with expertise in domestic and family violence. Tell them about support available at Macquarie University and other external support services.

Employee Assistance Program

1300 360 364A confidential counselling, coaching and wellbeing service free for all for Macquarie University and entity staff and their immediate family members. Immediate family members include children, parents, partners, grandchildren and siblings.

1800 RESPECT

1800 737 732

Counselling delivered by qualified, experienced professionals 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Domestic Violence Line

1800 656 463

Telephone counselling, information and referrals for women and same-sex partners who are experiencing or have experienced domestic violence.

Lifeline

13 11 14

Online, phone and face-to-face crisis support and suicide prevention services.

Mensline

1300 78 99 78

Professional telephone and online support and information service for Australian men.

Kids Helpline

1800 55 1800

A free, 24-hour counselling service for young people aged 5-25 years, offered by phone, email and over the web.

Review and offer additional support if needed

It can be a long process, so maintain regular check-ins with the employee, continue to offer support for however long it takes and be on the look out for escalation points, eg no improvement, increase in risk factors and evidence of injury or distress.

Need more help?

Contact your HR representative.

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