Safe Space Workplace

Safe Space  Workplace guides companies through the process of development, customisation and  implementation of domestic violence support programs from start to finish.

Lisa McAdams is an expert on domestic violence and having worked in a corporate environment for many years understands the key drivers for business success.

Lisa recognises that employee needs and views of the type of company they wish to work in are changing – it takes more than a good salary and a bonus to attract and retain them in key positions. Employees are choosing to work for progressive ethical companies who demonstrate leadership and take their corporate responsibilities seriously.

Lisa is a survivor of domestic violence. She has spent the last decade learning about domestic abuse, it’s impact and ways to make real change. Lisa understands both the complexities of domestic violence and the corporate environment. Lisa is passionate about implementing domestic violence support programs in companies, as she knows from personal experience the benefits of having a supportive employer who enabled her to continue to be a successful, contributing member of the team during a time when she herself was experiencing domestic violence.

During her time in corporate, Lisa was a member of the company’s financial analysis team and this led Lisa to be very pragmatic and solution focused in everything she undertakes. Lisa has the ability to review an issue and determine the most effective way to increase productivity and manage risks to the bottom line.

Her years learning about and talking with domestic violence experts has taught her that productivity and the bottom line have a very human element and policies that involves domestic violence must be gender neutral.


As a subject matter expert, Lisa can assist companies develop a concise, inclusive policy around the subject of Domestic Violence. This means that Human Resource managers can use their time more productively as they will not have to seek answers from a range of specialists.

Lisa founded Safe Space Workplace because she herself is a pragmatist and knows that corporates require a solution that will be inclusive of all employees and does not discriminate based on gender. This coupled with Lisa’s understanding of the many complex issues that arise as a result of Domestic Violence, ensure that all policy development and training programs are gender neutral.

Safe Space Workplace guides companies through the process of development, customisation and implementation of domestic violence support programs from start to finish.


  • In the 2008/09 financial year, the cost of intimate partner violence to the Australian economy overall was estimated to be $13.6 billion.
  • If no preventative action is taken, this cost is projected to rise to $15.6 billion annually by 2021/22.
  • $456 million of this $15.6 billion will be borne by employers and $609 million will be borne in productivity losses.1

The financial impact on businesses in Australia will continue to grow and corporations need to have plans in place to address this issue, for as the stats tell us, this financial and productivity loss is going to grow if no preventative measures are taken.

This financial impact described above is only one of the issues facing corporates if no action is taken. Attracting and retaining employees is becoming increasingly about being a company that employees want to work for. Demonstration of leadership through corporate responsibility is key factor in the attraction and retention of loyal employees.


Corporations have witnessed and embraced the positive impacts of mental health and work place bullying policies. They provide the training and education needed to create an environment where real change is possible. Employees are increasingly looking to work with companies that have this nurturing and inclusive culture.

There is no denying that domestic violence has a negative effect on productivity, staff retention and ultimately the bottom line. In looking at and analysing these issues, it is time to stop and look at what this is doing to the culture of an organisation and the effects it is having on the work environment for its key players.

HR personnel, managers, and colleagues are all working under a code of silence and it is impacting their mental health and productivity. Without clear guidelines in place employees are dealing with this issue in isolation. Employees are looking to work in companies where they feel supported and are no longer willing to shoulder responsibility for issues that arise from domestic violence, in isolation.

Work and home life continue to merge, especially with the introduction of technology and flexible working conditions, and the lines are more fluid so it is no longer a case of home life being separate from corporate life. The two have become so intertwined that one will always affect the other, so this leaves corporations with the obligations to step up.

It is time for them to “Lead The Way” and accept corporate responsibly and create not only the policies and training but also a corporate environment that says we are not going to tolerate abuse in any form in an engaged and ethical way.  Safe Space Workplace understands that companies who are early adopters of domestic violence policies will attract and retain key employees.


Domestic violence is prominent in both the media and in government and companies need a corporate solution to a domestic issue.

Corporations are now required by changing times to take their corporate responsibilities seriously. Safe Space Workplace knows this and also understands when it comes to incorporating domestic violence policies, companies have a responsibility to shareholders and other interested parties and any policy implemented cannot be detrimental to those interests.

Increasing productivity and improving the bottom line are important but a corporation also has a culture and its policies and strategies help to create this culture. Gen Y are becoming a growing percentage of a company’s overall staff base as the baby boomers retire. Gen Y are different – they demand an ethical workplace and do not see hierarchy in the same way as previous generations. They will not work for and carry the burden of a colleague/s dealing with the issue of domestic violence in isolation – they expect to work for a company who takes their corporate responsibilities seriously. Domestic violence is a topic that is becoming increasingly highlighted in the media and within government and early adopters of domestic violence policies will be ahead of the curve when it comes to creating a nurturing and supportive company culture.

Corporations who adopt these policies will be sending a message that they do not tolerate bullying or any form of workplace abuse. These early adopters will be seen as progressive companies and it is the progressive companies who will attract and retain key employees, a fact which will positively effect productivity and ultimately the bottom line.

Safe Space Workplace offers a complete solution as outlined below. The program can also be tailored to include components addressing specific needs or areas of Companies can also take the components separately.


Lisa McAdams through her Safe Space Workplace Toolkit provides guidance through the process of development, customisation and implementation of domestic violence support programs in conjunction with your companies Human Resource Team. Through this process the complexities, impact and cost of domestic violence are reviewed with applicable policies and procedures developed to minimise and manage disruption as well as reduce the impact of potential inefficiencies to the bottom line.

Safe Space Workplace provides the expertise about domestic violence and together with HR’s knowledge of the company the policies and strategies will create an ideal process suited to your business.

Through Safe Space Workplace your Human Resource team are provided with the appropriate tools to support the delivery of training to company managers.


Safe Space Workplace will provide a training program that can be implemented through the company Human Resources team or through our in-house training provider.

The training provides Managers with the tools and knowledge to discuss domestic violence issues with team members, in particular where an employee discloses they involved in or aware of a domestic violence situation.

It is recommended training for Managers is provided in face-to-face group sessions to ensure understanding of the complexities of domestic violence, the company policies and the procedures to be followed.  The training will provide guidance to Managers in how to discuss the sensitivities associated with domestic violence and issues to be aware of when dealing with employees on either side of the abuse coin.

Training will be conducted r by Safe Space Workplace. It is important that mangers understand some of the complexities of domestic violence and the company’s policies of this issue.

Following the training Managers will be able to seek company support in the knowledge that this will not be detrimental to the employee, enabling the employee to continue to be a productive member of the team, contributing to the work that is crucial to the company’s growth and sustainability.


Safe Space Workplace recommends and can provide compulsory on-line training for all staff to complete. This is purposely on-line so it can be done in private without fear of judgement.

This training is designed to educate employees about domestic abuse and the company’s policies and procedures, explaining the support and protection of privacy that will be provided and how to access it. It will also include an element on workplace abuse and the company’s stance on that.

This training will be a multiple choice questionnaire so it is not overly time consuming and employees will gain a knowledge of domestic violence and what to do if they are themselves involved or know/suspect a colleague is involved.

All training is gender neutral because we have to accept that perpetrators of abuse will make up a proportion of each company’s workforce and there is a need to be inclusive of all employees.

Safe Space Workplace work closely with EAP’s who have good knowledge and understanding of domestic violence and they will be available to provide counselling for all employees where required, for those being abused, colleagues, managers working with those disclosing or that they suspect are being abused or abusing. There will also be counselling for those who are abusing and wish to seek assistance to make a change.

Be a strong leader on domestic violence polices and an early adopter

Contact Lisa McAdams and her team to get started now.

Safe Space Workplace will provide support to your company whilst policies and procedures are developed and the relevant training plans.

Following the completion of the initial support and implementation of your Domestic Violence polices and procedures, Safe Space Workplace has a retainer program available for ongoing support and assistance.

1 National Council to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children, The Cost of Violence Against Women and Their Children (2009). Human Rights Commission

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