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

This page outlines the support available to staff who are experiencing domestic or family violence and their managers. For further details, please also refer to the Staff Enterprise Agreements and Domestic Violence Prevention and Response Guidelines (DOC).

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).

You can also contact your manager, the HR Client Team Manager, the Workplace Diversity and Inclusion 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, medical appointments, housing or 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.

To enable you to attend such meetings or appointments, Macquarie University offers up to twenty days paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave. This can be booked via HR Online in the same way as other forms of leave.

This leave option is completely voluntary and you can still access other paid leave options, such as personal leave. The type and length of leave taken can be discussed and agreed between you and your manager to meet your needs and situation.

A range of flexible work options are also available. Flexible work arrangements may include temporary transfer to part-time employment or alteration to start and finish times or location.

For more details on these provisions, please refer to the Enterprise Agreements, Flexible Work Policy and Domestic Violence Prevention and Response Guidelines (DOC).

You can also contact your HR Representative for a confidential conversation about leave and flexible work options.

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.
  • 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.
  • Providing additional protection for other employees, if it is determined that they also may be at risk.
  • Providing priority parking next to your 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.

Another Closet1800 65 64 63A website and support line for people in LGBTIQ relationships who are, or may be experiencing domestic and family violence.

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, counseling 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 may 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

Domestic or family violence within LGBTIQ relationships has been widely unacknowledged until recently and as such has been absent from discussion and visibility. For more information on this type of violence within the LGBTIQ community and why it's important to your workplace, please visit the Australian Government Intimate Partner Violence site.

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. We suggest contacting your HR representative in the first instance to help you coordinate the support or safety planning required.

It is difficult for victims to talk about their experience and 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.

Another Closet

1800 65 64 63A website and support line for people in LGBTIQ relationships who are, or may be experiencing domestic and family violence.

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.

Learn more about the Respect. Now. Always. initiative at Macquarie.

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