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1 in 3 Irish women experience domestic violence - the workplace plays a vital role.

One in three Irish women experience domestic violence. Some of your employees are probably affected by it right now. Domestic violence should concern us all, workplaces can play a vital role.

From the 27th of November 2023 workers in Ireland will be legally entitled to five days paid domestic violence leave annually, as provided for in The Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2023. Victims being abused by their partners can use this fully paid leave to seek medical attention, reach out to domestic violence services for victim support, get counselling, legal advice, court orders, Garda help – whatever they feel is the best use of this time to protect themselves and their children, as relevant.

Domestic, sexual, gender-based violence was brought to the forefront of the nation’s attention during the Covid pandemic as rates of domestic violence surged. However, it has always existed and persisted, a symptom of a greater issue of gender inequality.

It's more common than you might think:

  • 30% of women aged 15 or over have experienced violence against them.

  • One in four women in Ireland who have been in a relationship have been abused by a current or former partner.

  • 41% of Irish women know someone in their circle of family or friends who have experienced intimate partner violence.

  • Safe Ireland reported that 2022 was the deadliest year of the decade for women and children.

  • Garda statistics note that 52% of murders of women now having a domestic violence motivation.

(References from Safe Ireland and Women’s Aid Ireland)

Within your workforce it would be reasonable to assume that some of your employees are experiencing it too (based on the figures of 1 in 3 women experiencing some level of violence). Workplaces can play an essential role in supporting your people who experience domestic abuse. Solving domestic violence requires a whole of society approach from private sector to Government, to individuals, to society – we all have a role.

This new legislation bringing in paid leave for domestic violence intends to promote a workplace culture that empowers employees, your people, to make disclosures of domestic abuse and violence. This requires high trust and psychological safety embedded, along with creating a safe work environment for all to feel safe to share.

Is your organisation prepared to meaningfully support your workforce?

  • Are your leaders informed, educated, and coached on how to navigate cases of domestic violence being raised in the workplace?

  • Do you have workplace champions?

  • Do you have in place a comprehensive domestic violence policy as part of a wider, holistic approach to employee well-being?

  • We recommend that organisations do more than just provide third party Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). This needs to be led from the heart with pragmatic training and supports informed by practice experts.

Talk to us to learn more about building out a healthy domestic violence policy for your workplace, underpinned by a foundation built on trust and psychological safety. At TrustWorki, we recommend Saoirse Domestic Violence Services (SDVS) for Domestic Violence and Abuse Awareness Training – as frontline practitioners working in services daily, they are the experts. Their course is CPD recognised and provided by QQI accredited trainers. Reach out to us to learn more.

People in your employment right now may be experiencing domestic violence. Taking action to get informed, upskill and build out work cultures of trust and create safe spaces for individuals to disclose in confidence, if they choose to, is crucial for your Organisation.

Talk to us at TrustWorki in confidence to learn more.

References / Further Reading

Saoirse Domestic Violence Services training workshops Training & Workshops | Saoirse Domestic Violence Services (

Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth DV at Work - Domestic Violence at work

Women’s Aid Ireland ‘Get Informed’: Facts - Women's Aid (

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