Domestic and family violence is a workplace issue. Having domestic/family violence as a new protected attribute in anti-discrimination legislation can provide another avenue of protection for victims and survivors who experience discrimination, as well as lead to improved measures for addressing domestic/family violence.
There are many forms of violence against women, including:
- Intimate partner violence (also referred to as domestic and family violence)
- Rape and sexual assault
- Sexual harassment
The United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women defines violence against women as ‘any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life’.1
This fact sheet focuses specifically on domestic and family violence, which is most often perpetrated in the home against women by their male current or former partner.
Under international human rights law, it is well established that domestic and family violence is a violation of human rights,2 with grave and far-reaching repercussions for victims, survivors and their children.
The United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women requires governments to take appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women (which includes violence against women) in all areas of life including in employment, and to ensure that women have access to safe and healthy working conditions.3
Australia also has a range of federal, state and territory legislation that prohibits discrimination, as well as legislation which requires employers to create workplace environments that are safe and free from violence, discrimination and harassment.