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Neighbours, Friends & Families at Work A Program of the Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women & Children Faculty of Education, University of Western Ontario delivered through collaborations with community–based NFF Champions. Neighbours, Friends and Families is managed by

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Neighbours, Friends & Families at WorkA Program of the Centre for Research & Educationon Violence Against Women & ChildrenFaculty of Education, University of Western Ontariodelivered through collaborations with community–based NFF Champions

the campaign
Neighbours, Friends and Families is managed by

the Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children. It was developed by an Expert Panel. The Ontario Government funds the campaign.

The Campaign


Neighbours, Friends and Families is a campaign to raise awareness of


so that people who are close to an at-risk woman or abusive man can help.




Domestic Violence – 3 Types

  • Situational couple violence
  • most common / arguments escalate to violence
  • Intimate terrorism / battering
  • abusive partner controls and coerces
  • Violent Resistance
  • victim of intimate terrorism fights back

Johnson / CLASP – 2006



Domestic Violence – 3 Types

  • Situational couple violence
  • most common / arguments escalate to violence
  • Intimate terrorism / battering
  • abusive partner controls and coerces
  • Violent Resistance
  • victim of intimate terrorism fights back

Woman Abuse



Why Focus on Woman Abuse?

  • Highest risk cases
  • Most serious injuries
  • Preventable
  • Impact on children is devastating
  • Can’t change what you can’t name


  • Ontario Death Reviews - All cases from 2002-2005
    • 94% of violent perpetrators were male

Domestic Violence Death Review Committee



15 women were killed in Ontario by abusive partners in 2008

In the past 10 years, over 200 women have been killed in Ontario



Domestic Violence – 3 Types

  • All are harmful
  • All are potentially dangerous
  • All need intervention – different kinds
  • All create victims who need support

What Does Woman Abuse

Look Like?

  • Patterns of Abuse – ongoing, systematic to control and dominate a woman
  • Can be:
    • Physical / Sexual / Psychological or Emotional / Religious / Economic


nff model program
NFF – “Model Program”
  • The Domestic Violence Death Review Committee
  • …the greatest need continues to be educating all members of the community about the warning signs of domestic violence and the appropriate action necessary to prevent it.
  • One example…is the Neighbours, Friends and Families Campaign.(DVDRC 2005)


nff model program1
NFF – “Model Program”
  • Dupont / Daniel Inquest - Recommendations
  • “to provide support to all workplaces to train all employees about the dynamics of domestic violence….as well as what to do if faced with a situation where violence enters the workplace
  • …model programs such as Neighbours, Friends and Families may be expanded in Ontario and be more directly inclusive of the role of the workplace”.


a common misconception woman abuse is a private issue
A Common Misconception:Woman abuse is a private issue

In Canada, woman abuse in the workplace has been invisible

The tragic death of Lori Dupont has awakened us to the fact that it is a workplace issue

critical events and opportunities
Critical Events and Opportunities
  • Critical Events
    • Visible warning signs and risk factors
    • Should raise possibility of danger
  • Opportunities
    • A chance to intervene
    • Can be missed because of uncertainty or missing information
    • Organizations and individuals are unprepared


workplace implications
Workplace Implications

Significant human and economic costs

Measurable costs - $4 billion+ / yr (partial costs)

$1B+ traced to time away from work

Corporate leadership in the United States

Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence

Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women and Children

Domestic Violence Prevention: A Workplace Initiative


workplace implications1
Workplace Implications
  • Happen across all social classes
  • 37% of men in a perpetrators program are white collar workers
    • professionals, administrators, managers
  • 74% of victims are harassed while at work, which puts themselves and all people present at the workplace at risk
  • Gandolf 2002
  • Zachary 2000
workplace implications2
Workplace Implications

The danger of stalking & psychological abuse

76% of women murdered were stalked by their intimate partners in the year prior to murder

11–24% of all stalking cases actually begin in the workplace

87% of stalkers are male

National Stalking Resource Center

Kong, 1997; Patheet al., 2000



Perpetrator Interference

  • Behaviours and Actions

He may prevent her from getting to work or, interfere with her ability to work:

    • Place repeated phone calls
    • Stalk and/or watch her while she is at work
    • Show up and pester her co-workers with questions (where is she, who she’s with, when will she be back, etc.)

Why Workplaces Need to Be Involved

  • Most workplaces are unprepared
  • Many employees are affected directly and indirectly
  • Multiple concerns such as security, health, performance, productivity
  • In 9 out of 10 workplace incidents, the victim later confides in a co-worker
  • Employers & co-workers can make a difference


Stats Canada 2004


Why Workplaces Need to Be Involved

  • Perpetrators choose her workplace as a means to access her because often this is a factor in her life that remains unchanged and predictable.
  • Even if she has changed residences to isolate herself from the perpetrator, she may still experience the negative actions at work.


Zachary 2000

recognizing the signs
Recognizing the Signs
  • The victim may:
  • Have bruising that cannot be explained
  • Miss work on a regular basis or seem to be sick more often
  • Be sad, lonely, withdrawn and afraid
  • Have trouble concentrating on a task
  • Receive upsetting phone calls
  • Use alcohol or drugs to cope
Documentary “What everyone should know about woman abuse.”View the DVD on-line

Lived Experience


how can i support her
How Can I Support Her?
  • Examples:
  • Talk to her about what you see and assure her that you are concerned
  • Tell her you believe her and that it is not her fault
  • Provide information about safety


understanding the traps
Understanding the Traps
  • History of abuse – grew up in abusive home
  • Afraid to be on her own
  • Blames herself for the abuse
  • Economic uncertainty - poverty
  • She loves him – believes he can change
  • She doesn’t want to move the children
  • Pressure from her family
  • Cultural norms that don’t permit divorce
safety planning for women
Safety Planning for Women
  • Developing a Safety plan
  • Getting Ready to Leave
  • Leaving the Abuser
  • After Leaving
  • Referral Information:

The Assaulted Women’s Helpline, and other women’s services in your area


assaulted women s helpline
Assaulted Women’s Helpline
    • 24-hour telephone support and crisis line
    • Anonymous and confidential
    • Available in many languages
  • Local Resources
what can i say when someone you care about is acting abusively
What Can I Say?When someone you care about is acting abusively:
  • Approach him when he is calm
  • Tell him that you are concerned for the safety of his partner and children and that there is help for him
  • Recognize that confrontational, argumentative approaches may make the situation worse and put her at higher risk


brochures safety cards

Chinese Simplified






Brochures & Safety Cards

Available in:

  • Punjabi Indian
  • Punjabi Pakistani
  • Russian
  • Somali
  • Spanish
  • Tamil
  • Vietnamese

Neighbours, Friends & Families



know the rule of isolation
Know the Rule of Isolation

Isolation is a factor that is always present in situations of woman abuse

…It could even be considered a necessary condition

As the abuse escalates – the isolation becomes more profound

behaviours designed to interrupt isolation
Behaviours Designed to Interrupt Isolation
  • Pay attention to signs of abuse
  • Don’t sit alone with suspicions and questions
  • Seek help and take appropriate action


how do we prepare ourselves
How do we prepare ourselves?

Start with Heart

You can’t go wrong if you intervene from a place of genuine concern and care…

becoming a workplace champion
Becoming A Workplace Champion

Three Levels of Involvement

Level 1: Introduce campaign and materials to all employees

Level 2: Presentations & Workshops

Level 3: Train the Trainer

For more information on the workplace program contact Barb MacQuarrie at



How it Works

Engaging The Potential and Power of Everyday Relationships









Final Thoughts

  • There are no simple solutions – leaving an abusive partner is more of a process than an event.
  • Caring about the people around us, paying attention to them when there are signs of trouble can be the most important intervention we can make.


neighbours friends and families
Most Ontarians feel a personal responsibility for reducing woman abuse...recognizing it is the first step

Take the warning signs seriously

Neighbours, Friends and Families