Addressing the Issue of Domestic Violence at the Workplace: A Review of the Implementation of the Victim Empowerment and Abuser Rehabilitation Policy in Mauritius
Keywords:Workplace initiative to address Domestic Violence
AbstractIt has been widely acknowledged that the majority of persons affected by Gender-Based Violence (GBV) are women and girls. The violence females are subject to can occur at each stage of their life with immediate and long-term effects. According to a World Bank publication, The Costs ofViolence, (2009) most estimates on the cost to society of GBV have focused on domestic violence. A study of the Extent, Nature and Costs of Domestice Violence to the Mauritian Economy (2010) reveals that there is a forty-six fold difference between the administrative data provided the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare. To scale up the fight against domestic violence the Government of Mauritius has launched the Victim Empowerment and Abuser Rehabilitation Policy (VEARP) in 2013 whereby the workplace becomes a platform for primary prevention.This study aims to document the consultations held with stakeholders at the workplace (public and private sector) and to make proposals to ensure that the VEARP is institutionalised at the workplace. It has been found that the Human Resource (HR) function is not well developed in the mauritian society and among the three main models of prevention of domestic violence at the workplace, the partnerships model is the most appropriate.The organisation of training of trainers on GBV issues and the referrral system set up by the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare will encourage employers to join the fight against domestic violence. To assist the HR department in implementing this workplace initiative, there is an urgent need to set up Employer Assistance Programs (EAP) at the workplace. However, there is an urgent need to institutionalise work-family life balance policies, to adopt legislation to cater for violence at the workplace and to amend the Protection of Domestic Violence Act of 2011.
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