ACTIV: Combating domestic violence through employment

Friday, 30 July 2021

Domestic violence is a scourge of which women are the first and main victims. This violence can take different forms: verbal, psychological, physical, sexual, economic, administrative, social, spiritual and online. The consequences are disastrous, both for the individual and for society, and last over time. To act against this phenomenon, the ACTIV project partners have chosen the angle of employment! 

Employment as a vehicle for emancipation 

The Istanbul Convention obliges the signatory states to commit themselves to the fight against domestic violence. The text sets out definitions and proposes concrete courses of action, but combating domestic violence depends on national histories and the interpretation of the text (and therefore the legislation in force) may vary. Moreover, although the theory exists, in practice, States are lagging behind. Faced with alarming figures and after the global pandemic that has seen an increase in cases of domestic violence everywhere, it is time to act! 

To act, the ACTIV project partners have chosen the angle of employment as a vector of emancipation. A woman facing domestic violence who has a stable job has a better chance of getting out of the cycle of violence in the long term. But finding and keeping a job for these women is sometimes a struggle, as it requires adaptations that not all employers are ready to make. 

However, this is a perspective to be considered with caution. If having a job allows women facing domestic violence to gain independence, embarking on a socio-professional integration pathway requires for some women to have already left the cycle of violence... The solution to this vicious circle is to be attentive and to respect the temporality of each woman. 

The ACTIV tools

The ACTIV project, co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme, is continuing and the first publication will be released soon. It will be a study of the definitions and legislation in force, as well as a qualitative analysis of the indicators that need to be paid attention to in order to optimise the pathway back to employment for women facing domestic violence. In a second phase, the project partners will develop training and awareness-raising tools based on this grid of indicators so that all actors are aware of the specific needs of this target group. 

Because it is urgent to make the workplace a safe and fulfilling space for all. Because it is essential to continue to fight against domestic violence by involving all stakeholders, including women themselves, but also associations, socio-professional integration stakeholders, trade unions and employers.