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Hunter Workers calling for 10 days paid domestic violence leave

24 Nov 2021

"We all have a part to play in ending violence against women in our communities."

This International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, Hunter Workers are calling on the Morrison government to support at least 10 days paid family and domestic violence leave for all workers who need it.

Today marks the beginning of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, concluding on the 10th of December when Hunter Workers will be holding a rally at Civic Park calling for paid domestic violence leave.

One in four Australian women have experienced physical or sexual violence from a current or former partner, and approximately two-thirds of women experiencing domestic violence are in paid employment.

On average, one woman is killed every week as a result of intimate partner violence.

The financial cost of escaping violence is one of the greatest barriers facing survivors, estimated to be $18 000.

Holding down a job is vital for survivors of DV, as many women are forced to return to their abuser if they cannot financially support themselves.

But providing survivors support directly through their employer, in the form of 10 days paid DV leave, increases the chances of holding down their job long term and successfully escaping.

Quotes by Hunter Workers Women’s Committee Chairperson Leanne Holmes:

“We all have a part to play in ending violence against women in our communities, and employers have a responsibility to do their bit, too.

We know that supporting women, to not only keep their jobs but also have their workplace support them every step of the way, is imperative for successfully escaping DV.

Over the pandemic, employers have benefited from working from home arrangements- but moving the workplace to the home means domestic violence is a workplace safety issue that employers are responsible for.

Providing workers with 10 days paid domestic violence leave would cost employers just 5 cents per day, per worker.

One-off support payments are a step in the right direction, but to successfully end this epidemic of violence, we need women to be fully supported by their workplaces.”

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