Engage to Change

Family Violence costs Australian business an estimated $484 million each year due to lost productivity, increased use of sick leave, poor performance, absenteeism and recruitment costs. By 2021 this figure is expected to rise to $609 million if nothing is done (according to The Cost of Violence Against Women and their Children, KPMG 2009).

Recent surveys in Australia and overseas have estimated between 10–30% of employees may be affected by family violence in any 12-month period.

McAuley Community Services for Women's Engage to Change program was developed in recognition of the growing number of working women affected by family violence. Engage to Change is an innovative preventative education program that aims to enable employers and their employees to proactively address family violence in the workplace.

Awareness of family violence is increasing thanks to more media coverage and the Royal Commission. However, knowing how to respond appropriately is still a challenge. This is the core work of Engage to Change; supporting workplaces to better respond to family violence issues.

In face-to-face interactive training sessions tailored to suit the organisation’s needs, participants are educated about :

  • Recognising family violence
  • Identifying risks for staff
  • Responding effectively to disclosures of family violence
  • Knowing where and how to refer women for help

More than 500 employers and employees across the banking, health, insurance and legal sectors, and local government authorities have participated in Engage to Change facilitated sessions.Feedback from participants includes:

A great approach to a very difficult, multifaceted social issue," Insurance industry participant.

“Little did we know how much we didn’t know nor how powerful and practical a training program like this could be,” Health Service participant.

Thanks for helping the leadership team understand the importance of recognising the signs and to have the courage to ask the right questions,” Local Government participant.

"Greatly improved my understanding of what family violence is and that we all have a role to play to help change things,” Banking sector participant.

McAuley Community Services for Women’s Engage to Change program combines practice wisdom with expert training to provide business leaders, HR managers and staff with a comprehensive analysis of the impacts of family violence in the workplace, and what can be done to prevent it.

Contact McAuley Community Services for Women on 03 9371 6600 for information on how to bring Engage to Change to your workplace.