The Gendered Violence Research Network’s (GVRN) knowledge exchange project, Gendered Violence and Organisations, turns research-led insights into real-world impact. Harnessing decades of specialist research into gendered violence, we're renowned for providing information-led and practical bespoke training and advisory services to help employers learn how to effectively respond to gendered-based violence in the lives of their employees. We offer a suite of services including face-to-face and online training, webinars and new online short courses.  

Ultimately, we’re helping create better, safer and more supportive workplace environments.

Take a look at our new Online Short Courses

  • Employees experiencing domestic, family and sexual violence are particularly vulnerable in relation to work due to the predictability of their location and hours. The strain of dealing with the abuse may impact an employee’s productivity, performance and wellbeing.  

    Research conducted in 2011 found that 19 per cent of Australian workers who had experienced domestic violence in the previous 12 months reported the harassment continued at their workplace. The primary form of abuse involved receiving threatening phone calls and emails, and over 11 per cent of respondents who had experienced domestic violence reported that the perpetrator had physically come to their workplace. 

    The perpetrator may also harass and threaten other employees, placing these workers at risk. This is especially the case for workers who are the first point of contact in a business, or for those working directly with colleagues who are experiencing abuse. Employees who support affected co-workers may also find that doing so affects their own productivity due to stress and greater workloads. 

  • There are multiple benefits for employers who proactively and effectively address the effects of domestic, family and sexual violence on the organisation. By doing so, you: 

    • reduce costs and increase savings
    • help fulfil employers’ duty of care
    • improve staff health, safety and wellbeing
    • acknowledge economic independence is key to leaving an abusive relationship
    • demonstrate corporate social responsibility
    • position your organisation as an employer of choice.

    Employers can reduce costs and increase savings by providing supports to employees who are victims so they can maintain their employment. This will improve long-term productivity, safeguard institutional knowledge and offset potential termination, recruitment and retraining expenses. 

    Organisations that appropriately manage employees who are perpetrators of domestic, family and sexual violence will reduce the risk of vicarious liability and reputational damage. This is particularly the case if the employees are perpetrating violence on work premises, using work resources or are perpetrating violence during paid work time.

    Employers will be fulfilling their duty of care to employees, contractors and clients by providing a safe organisation where foreseeable risks are removed or mitigated. This, in turn, could reduce insurance premiums and other security costs and will enhance the health, safety and wellbeing of all staff.

    Research has shown that maintaining employment, and therefore economic independence, is a key factor in assisting someone to leave a violent relationship without risking homelessness for themselves and their children.

    Taking a stand against and responding to domestic, family and sexual violence will also demonstrate commitment to the organisation’s stated values and corporate social responsibility charters. This will enhance your reputation both within your workforce and the wider community. Since 2016, for the organisation to be considered for an Employer of Choice, Australia’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency has required employers to report whether they have formal policies or strategies to support workers who are experiencing domestic and family violence.

    Gendered Violence & Organisations training workshop evaluations reveal many staff are proud to work for an organisation that takes the issue of domestic, family and sexual violence seriously. Staff also appreciate the opportunity to learn more about the issue and develop skills to assist their colleagues, if needed.

  • Businesses and organisations can create an environment where people know it’s safe to disclose whether they are affected by domestic, family and/or sexual violence. People can be affected as a victim, a perpetrator, and as a supportive family member or colleague. 

    A supportive organisational environment is established by:

    • leadership from the top that clearly states domestic, family and sexual violence is not appropriate and will not be tolerated in the organisation 
    • the development and implementation of policies and procedures to support people (e.g., employees, volunteers, customers) who disclose they are affected by domestic, family and sexual violence 
    • training first responders who will be able to sensitively respond to requests for information and disclosures 
    • providing for reasonable and appropriate accommodations or adjustments to allow people affected to remain safe and productive while at work or in the organisation 
    • regular review of policies, procedures and safety/workload plans 
    • support for first responders 
    • effective dissemination of domestic, family and sexual violence policies and procedures within the organisation. 
  • Jan Breckenridge
    Professor and Head of the School of Social Sciences and Convenor, Gendered Violence Research Network, UNSW

    Professor Jan Breckenridge is Head of the School of Social Sciences and the Faculty of Arts, Design & Architecture’s academic lead of the Gendered Violence Research Network.

    She is a Research Fellow with the Australian Human Rights Institute, UNSW and is a founding member of the International Research Consortium on Financial Abuse including scholars from Rutgers University and the Women and Child Abuse Studies Unit at North London University. 

    Jan’s knowledge and reputation in this field is well established and has been developed through extensive original research in the specific areas of child sexual abuse and gendered violence. She has always oriented her research towards maximum impact in innovative social policy development, best practice service provision and outcome measurement of effectiveness. 

    In particular Jan has undertaken substantial research in the effects of and responses to domestic, family, and sexual violence on organisations in different contexts across Australia and the Asia Pacific. Jan has a Bachelor of Social Studies (Hons) USyd and a PhD UNSW.

    Mailin Suchting
    Gendered Violence Research Network, UNSW

    Mailin is the Manager of the Gendered Violence Research Network, with a focus on the Gendered Violence & Organisations stream. She has worked in leadership, management, education, and frontline roles shaping public sector policy and responses to the health and justice impact of domestic and family violence, sexual assault, and child physical abuse/neglect on individuals.

    She is specifically interested in the intersections of gender, culture, and sexuality. Her most recent roles have been as Manager Policy, Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and Director, Child Protection and Violence Prevention NSW Health (NSW Kids and Families and NSW Ministry of Health). Mailin holds a BSW (Hons)

    Marion Brown
    Senior Associate, 
    Gendered Violence Research Network, UNSW

    Marion provides legal, training and policy analysis skills for the Gendered Violence Research Network’s Gendered Violence & Organisations stream. She practised as a lawyer for over 25 years and has worked in private practice and as the principal solicitor of a Community Legal Centre, primarily in the field of family law and violence against women and children. Marion was the Executive Officer of the NSW Violence Against Women and Children Law Reform Taskforce 1987 and has also been a part-time hearing commissioner for the Human Rights Commission of Australia. From 1995 to 2007, she was the Deputy President and a presiding member of the NSW Guardianship Tribunal which involved hearing many applications relating to adults with decision-making disabilities. Marion has an Arts/Law degree from Macquarie University, an MA (Women’s Studies) UNSW and a Certificate IV Training and Assessment. Marion tutored at UNSW Law for eight years and continues to work as a consultant and trainer for the NSW Health Education Centre Against Violence in addition to her work with the Gendered Violence & Organisations stream.

    Tim Wong
    Senior Research Associate, 
    Gendered Violence Research Network, UNSW

    Tim provides training, research, and policy analysis skills for the Gendered Violence Research Network. He is a registered psychologist who has worked in both government and non-government organisations as a direct care worker supporting people with disabilities, an educator and counsellor specialising in sexuality and disability issues, a Professional Member of the Guardianship Tribunal NSW, and for over 15 years, as a psychologist with people with HIV. He was an accredited counsellor with the Victims Compensation Tribunal providing psychological intervention and support to people who experienced sexual and physical assaults. Since completing his PhD, he has worked in the Schools of Psychology and Medicine at the University of Western Sydney, as Manager of Advocacy and Resources at Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, and the Schools of Medicine and Social Sciences at UNSW before joining the Gendered Violence Research Network. Tim has a BA (Psych) MacqU, MA (Psych) USyd, MA (Couns) MacqU, and PhD (Psych) WSU.

    Julie Porteous
    Senior Associate,  
    Gendered Violence Research Network, UNSW

    Julie provides research, advisory and training services for the Gendered Violence Research Network, with a focus on the Gendered Violence & Organisations stream. Julie has over 10 years’ experience in the fields of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child protection, in NSW Health and the non-government organisation sector.

    She has worked as a lecturer and tutor at UNSW and Sydney University, and as a social worker in the UK. Julie works on the after-hours sexual assault and child protection rosters of two major Sydney hospitals. Julie has a Social Work/Law degree from UNSW and a Certificate IV Training and Assessment.


Mailin Suchting
Manager, Gendered Violence Research Network

UNSW Sydney 
T: +61 2 9065 8339 

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