October is mental health month. There is a growing knowledge and acceptance around the issue of mental health. This understanding is making is easier for people to speak up and ask for help. Companies now recognise mental health as an issue and many are taking a proactive approach and including health and wellness as part of their employee benefits.

Domestic Violence and Emotional Health

Domestic violence and mental health issues go hand in hand. It is hard to have been subjected to abuse by someone you love without it causing stress. One of the types of abuse is called psychological abuse. We talk about crazy making, because this is the aim of this abuse is to make the abused person doubt their own mind. The behaviours of the abuser in an emotionally abusive relationship are purposely confusing.

This abuse and the confusion it causes have negative effect on some survivors health and well being, some of which are long term. Some of these effects are:

  • Stress 
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Sleep Disturbances
  • Eating Disorders
  • Homelessness
  • Poverty

It is important for employers to recognise that these effects are a reality for those subjected to domestic violence. Without support from the employers those affected can easily slip through the net and loose their jobs. This is not good for the employer or the employee. Lack of employment and financial security have a negative effect on an abused persons well being. This financial stress can lead to limited access to long term medical and psychological care.

Career Security Means Financial Security

Employers who engage in domestic violence workplace policies and training can help prevent the uncertainty around employment and financial security, which will help in alleviating some of the stress and anxiety associated with domestic violence. Financial security also ensures the abused person has the means to afford the medical support needed to deal with the impacts of abuse on the mental health.

Employment Stability Helps Emotional Stability

When in an abusive relationship a career is grounding and helps maintain a positive sense of purpose. Employees who receive support from the companies they work for can keep their focus on their job, which enables continuity of employment which is good for them and the company they work for. With the cost of on-boarding staff it is more cost effective to take preventative measures – including Employee Assist Programs, training and domestic violence policies – to ensure valued employees can maintain their contribution to the company whilst dealing with their personal life.

Dealing with and recovering from an abusive relationship is a rocky road. Employer engagement in training and policies mean the pathway to maintaining career security can be smooth. Which is good for employees and good for employers!