Should HR support employees who are violent at home?

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Most employers are ready and willing to help victims of domestic violence but when it comes to supporting perpetrators, some aren’t so eager – here, one HR head explains why both groups deserve care and attention.

“We provide support for people who come forward to us and say they’re using violence and would like to make a change,” says Anna Campbell, chief people officer at the Warehouse Group.

“We do have debate about this but we believe it’s very important to support the user of violence because that’s the point where it starts,” she continues.

“A lot of effort goes into helping the victims of violence – and that’s important – but if we can prevent violence from happening, then we’re going to have a tangible impact on violence in this country.”

The Kiwi retailer was recently recognised at the Diversity Awards New Zealand for its comprehensive family violence support program which provides paid and unpaid time off as well as a range of other resources to those impacted by domestic violence.

The organisation also runs an annual charity dinner to raise funds for a relevant charity – this year, it partnered with Parenting Place and the Salvation Army to support the Breakthrough program.

“We raised $640,000 for the Breakthrough program which helps fathers with a history of violence build healthy, safe family relationships,” says Campbell.

“Providing support for people who use violence or fear they’re going to use violence is a really important part of making change and we didn’t feel like we would be really stepping into that change if we didn’t help those people,” she explains.

“Good people do make bad choices and if we can help people learn to do things differently, then the entire country benefits.”

 

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