Can work be safe when home isn’t? Unifor supports nationwide survey on domestic violence in the workplace


Delegates at Unifor’s first Ontario Regional Council meeting unanimously supported a resolution to support a new research project looking in to the impacts of domestic violence in the workplace.

Western University and the labour movement in Canada have joined forces to launch a survey on the impact of domestic violence in the workplace. Barb MacQuarrie, Community Director of the Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children at Western University addressed delegates at Unifor’s Ontario Regional Council to discuss the importance of this project.

After reading a letter from Barb Dupont, mother of Laurie Dupont, a nurse who was murdered by her former partner while at work at a hospital in Windsor in 2005, Barb presented some of the startling statistics on violence against women and its impact in the workplace.

American research studies have shown that a quarter of employees have experienced domestic violence, and 70 per cent of those experiencing domestic violence have had it follow them in to their workplace, she told delegates.

“We expect the statistics are similar in Canada, but we do not have the evidence to back it up. That is why this nationwide survey is essential,” said MacQuarrie.

“It is not apathy, and it is not a lack of compassion that keeps us from offering support, it is a lack of awareness.”

Unifor believes that we need a widespread understanding that violence against women is a workplace issue, and is committed to making this a reality. We are incredibly proud of our innovative Women’s Advocate Program. Women’s advocates are specially-trained, easy to contact workplace representatives who assist women with concerns such as workplace harassment, intimate violence and abuse.

Anyone 15 years or older, whether or not they have experienced violence, can participate in the survey. To fill out the anonymous survey, visit:

For more information on the Women’s Advocate Program visit: