"Private" problem in a public place: a feminist criminological examination of union responses to workplace domestic violence

Fejedelem, Kristi
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University of Guelph

Using a public/private framework encompassing a socialist feminist criminological perspective, this study explores workplace domestic violence from the perspective of labour unions. The damaging effects of domestic violence are now being equated with lost productivity and safety concerns in the workplace. Domestic violence victims as well as co-workers, clients, and employers are often at risk; as a result, it is clear that domestic violence travels through various aspects of life and cannot be ignored in the workplace. This study examines workplace domestic violence policies and initiatives that have been adopted by Canadian unions, in addition to union perceptions of workplace domestic violence, the nature of these policies and initiatives, and the impetus for their adoption. In conclusion, unions with workplace domestic violence policies and initiatives are typically female-dominated, and they aim to provide safe workplaces for members and to protect the jobs of victims through proactive, educative, and responsive strategies.

socialist feminist, criminological perspective, workplace domestic violence, labour unions, policies, initiatives