Take Action Strategies

What You Can Do

People who are approachable and practice active listening are most likely to have information regarding intimate partner violence disclosed to them. Demonstrate empathy and respect to those around you, and do your best to notice changes in others’ behaviour. 
At your workplace, encourage co-workers to reduce stigma and advocate for a healthy workplace.

Employer Actions


BE PROACTIVE and set the tone for your business.


BE APPROACHABLE and knowledgeable about your employees.


BE THE PRIMARY ADVOCATE for a healthy workplace. If your instincts tell you that something isn’t quite right, intervene early before the situation gets out of hand.


REMEMBER TO KEEP YOUR EMPLOYEES SAFE. If the employee appears to reconcile with the partner, remember the cycle of abuse. Remain vigilant because the cycle is likely to continue.


PROMPTLY ADDRESS any concerns about intimate partner violence you might have with the employee as they emerge. Here are some practical points on how to gently intervene.


Addressing intimate partner violence with an Employee

Knowing how to start a conversation about IPV with an employee can be difficult.

Your role as an employer or supervisor is not to be a counsellor, but rather to approach the employee in a professional, sensitive manner and find out what help is required and where the employee can find it.

Offer to meet the employee in private so that confidentiality can be respected. 
Clearly identify any observed employee job performance problems that have emerged. 

Express empathy about personal issues interfering with work performance.

Remember, IPV victims and offenders can be of either sex. Use respectful language: “your partner” or their name; avoid using labels “abuser” or “batterer”. 

Be supportive and avoid accusing, blaming, diagnosing or drawing conclusions. 

Listen and implore the employee to seek help.

Employees, Friends, Family Members Actions

Talking To Your Co-Workers


Employees should monitor co-worker behaviours and note changes. They can be encouraged to actively listen to concerns and identify potentially unhealthy situations. Offer assistance with tasks. Employees can offer to intercede with management on behalf of the stressed employee. Regardless, employees need to consult with supervisor or appropriate representative. A peer encouraged resource tends to carry credibility.

Talking To Your Co-Workers

Carry On

Employees should know workplace safety plans. They must involve management & supervisor with observations or concerns. Support the co-worker with tasks and respect any medical limitations. Continue to include co-worker in activities. Encourage others who might be finding coping with the situation difficult.

Talking To Your Co-Workers

Stay Vigilant

Co-workers should be vigilant. If they note unacceptable employee behaviour, it is important to involve management & supervisor. Empathy and respect for employee accommodations will be very helpful. If appropriate and safe, employees can be encouraged to maintain contact with the employee. Being supportive of their co-worker and minimize rumours will help to direct resources to where they are needed most.

Options for Action

Government of Canada

Joint Learning Program

Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety