The high price of family violence on Australian businesses

After enduring three years of abuse from her husband, Lisa* began to withdraw from her family and friends.

Her part-time work at a real estate agency was also suffering. Lisa's husband would call her at work and abuse her over the phone. Distracted, scared and embarrassed, she often arrived late to work and would leave early, and missed important deadlines.

Unaware of Lisa's situation, her boss spoke to her several times about her work performance, but eventually Lisa was fired.

Through Lisa's story it is clear to see how one woman's experience with family violence can have far-reaching impacts on family members, friends, children, colleagues and Australian businesses.

In fact, family violence costs Australian businesses $13.6 billion each year, and this is expected to rise to $20 billion by 2021 (according to The Cost of Violence Against Women and their Children, KPMG 2009).

Two out of three women who report family violence are in the workforce

With this in mind, McAuley Works developed the Employer Awareness Program.

"The Employer Awareness Program aims to increase awareness and improve employers' understanding of family violence in the workplace, identify risks for staff, and develop and implement effective support practices so employers can ensure their valuable workers don't lose their jobs as a result of family violence," Tenar Dwyer, Program Manager for McAuley Works, says.

"Businesses can have a very real impact on preventing women slipping out of the workforce and becoming homeless."

"Bringing this message to employers – educating them on the cost family violence has to their business, their workforce and society as a whole, and the simple steps they can take to prevent this – is key to our Employer Awareness Program."

To book a session or to find out more, please call 0413 932 753 or email

*Name has been changed