'It's in our workplaces': domestic violence researcher says

Researcher Barb MacQuarrie addresses domestic violence at Regina conference for provincial transition houses

CBC News Posted: May 17, 2016 7:32 PM CT Last Updated: May 17, 2016 7:32 PM CT

An Ontario researcher wants people in Saskatchewan to know that domestic violence doesn't stop at home.

Barb MacQuarrie, who works at the research centre for violence against women at the University of Western Ontario said the effects of domestic violence often extend to the workplace.

MacQuarrie helped lead a study on domestic violence in the workplace. She said the study found that one third of Canadian workers have experienced domestic violence at some point in their lives. For 54 per cent of those people, the issues follow them to work.

MacQuarrie said issues can include harassing phone calls and emails, continued contact asking the boss about their partner's whereabouts and stalking behaviour.

But MacQuarrie said there were some positive findings in the study as well.

More people talking

She said it seems that people are doing fairly well — about 40 per cent of victims — are actually talking to co-workers about the violence.

"That means that 40 per cent of people experiencing domestic violence feel like 'I can talk about this someplace.' "

MacQuarrie said while that number is decent, it still needs work as well. MacQuarrie is planning to address workplace domestic violence at a conference for provincial transition houses in Regina on Wednesday.

She said she hopes more jobs learn to put support mechanisms in place and to reach out to the community for help.

"We have a role, we have a responsibility, and now as employers, we're going to reach out to our community partners — women's shelters, specialized counselling services, police even. We're going to reach out to bring them in to help us manage it."  

With files from CBC Radio's Afternoon Edition