Members' Publications

Belgium: Impact of Domestic Violence on Work

Between 2 May and 9 June 2017, researchers at Western University and the Belgian Institute for equality of women and men, in cooperation with its partners, conducted a national online survey on the impact of domestic violence on work, workers and in workplaces.
Approximately 28% of respondents reported having experienced domestic violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime (33.7% of women and 14.9% of men reported experiencing domestic violence in their life time.)

The survey consisted of over 40 questions that focused on workers’ experiences with domestic violence and the workplace. Those with personal domestic violence experience were asked additional questions, such as how the violence affected their work and their co-workers, whether they discussed the violence with anyone at work, and what types of support they received. This report outlines the main findings from the survey.

This survey was developed by researchers with the DV@WorkNet and the Belgian Institute for equality of women and men. DV@WorkNet is an international network of researchers, domestic violence experts, social and labour organizations, and employers who conduct research and mobilize knowledge about the impact of domestic violence in the workplace. Gathering data on this important issue provides stronger evidence to help shape legislation and workplace policies that support violence prevention and safety in workplace.

The Institute is the Belgian equality body with regard to discrimination on the ground of sex or gender. Its missions are threefold:

  1. they assist victims of discrimination,
  2. they coordinate independent research
  3. they provide recommendations to policy makers or other parties involved in the fight against discrimination.

As gender based violence is a form of discrimination, the Institute has been a long-time participant in the fight against it. The Institute is the official coordinating body for the implementation and monitoring of the Istanbul Convention and the National Action Plan against gender-based violence.

The survey was available in Dutch, German, French and English, and was open to men and women aged 18 years and older, whether they had directly experienced domestic violence or not. An open sampling method was used, i.e. the survey was made public and accessible to everybody. The survey was spread online through the network of the partners, i.e. the Belgian Unions ACV-CSC, ABVV-FGTB, ACLVB-CGSLB, all the public administrations at a national and regional level and women’s organisations. The survey was reviewed and approved by the Western University’s Research Ethics Board.

Access the survey in French, Dutch and English here.

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