Paul Barbaro from IPA says businesses can no longer ignore domestic violence.
Paul Barbaro from IPA says businesses can no longer ignore domestic violence. CONTRIBUTED

It's not just 'nice to do', DV must be addressed at work

WHEN Paul Barbaro opened the door to see his sister standing there with two crying children and a bloodied, swollen eye, a secret hidden for years unravelled.

The next day, when she couldn't face calling her boss, Mr Barbaro did it for her.

As the chief operating officer of labour hire company IPA, Mr Barbaro started to think what he would do if an employee approached him with a similar situation.

The Melbourne-based manager was in Rockhampton this week to share his experience of how business leaders can help employees experiencing domestic violence.

Mr Barbaro said about 50 people had shared their deeply troubling experiences with him over the last four years.

 

Paul Barbaro from IPA says businesses must address DV.
Paul Barbaro from IPA says businesses must address DV. Michelle Gately ROK101116bryce2

"From my perspective, that personal experience I had really bought it to light," he said.

"It was awful. I'm actually embarrassed, as a man, to hear it and quite ashamed when I listen to some of the harrowing stories of women who come to work having experienced an awful evening at home, it's terrible.

"I think zero tolerance is a minimum standard, an absolute zero tolerance and the ability for people to have the courage to speak up and not hide it.

Mr Barbaro said ignoring domestic violence would ultimately have a negative impact on any business' organisational culture.

"Women have a significant contribution to make.

"It's not a 'nice to do', it's a mandatory requirement of workplaces I think to have policies in place that protect victims."



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