Incidence of femicide in South Africa is five times the global average and one in five women are assaulted by their partner. Despite this, domestic violence remains one of the most taboo crimes in our society.
The country’s biggest brewer, SAB, has launched a #NoExcuse Domestic Violence Policy to assist staff who are victims of this type of crime with reporting the offence.
Domestic violence can include physical, verbal, sexual, emotional, psychological and financial or economic forms of abuse. It is often characterised by coercive control, a persistent pattern of threatening behaviour that seeks to isolate and undermine a victim’s confidence, autonomy and participation in work.
“Violent crime against women in South Africa has reached alarming proportions. With this policy we want to create an environment where the reporting of this abuse is destigmatised, and contribute to a work environment where victims feel safe, can report confidentially and seek support when experiencing or recovering from domestic violence,” said Director of Carling Black Label, Grant Pereira.
The #NoExcuse Domestic Violence Policy, which is gender neutral, makes it possible for colleagues to safely stay in their jobs and progress in their careers by providing temporary adjustments to work tasks, flexible working hours, up to 10 days of paid leave, and support such as referrals to specialists and counselling, where available. A toolkit on addressing domestic violence at work has been prepared to assist staff in knowing how to support a colleague who is experiencing, or recovering from domestic violence, or what to do if they are experiencing it themselves.
“The Policy, which will be implemented globally, affirms our commitment to providing safety and support for colleagues who are victims of domestic violence. It applies to all full-time, part-time and temporary colleagues directly employed by SAB and AB InBev.”
Pereira said that few companies had taken a stand on the topic. “We are proud to be among the first. Protecting the health and safety of our staff is our number one priority, and the #NoExcuse Domestic Violence Policy is one example of that commitment.”
SAB’s flagship #NoExcuse Champions for Change programme, which equips, inspires and mobilises men to stand against gender-based violence, and build a safer, better world, is open to all corporates as a challenge. Companies can run one of the six intervention components in a community of their choice – including Champ Camps, Champion Conversations, soccer tournaments, college workshops, tavern events and staff interventions.
“We also challenge other corporates to adopt or establish their own domestic violence policies,” concluded Pereira.