What Work-From-Home Means For Victims of Domestic Violence?


Especially after the dawn of COVID-19, more and more companies have considered allowing certain employees to work from home in recent times. A recent survey by PEW in 2022 actually indicated that close to 60% of employees now prefer working remotely, either partially or fully.

But since working from home means spending more time indoors, perhaps closer to a partner, it’s only fair to think about what would happen to the victim of a home or couple with a history of domestic violence.

In other words, what does working from home really mean for victims of domestic violence?

The Wish to Return to Work 

Of course, working from home provides numerous advantages. At the very least, you get to spend less on your commute, and you can better manage your time.

Plus, you may have little to worry about the boss breathing down on your neck if you’re running behind schedule on a task. However, all this might become meaningless if spending more time at home working subjects you to acts of violence from your spouse, partner, or the very person you’d wish to protect your safety.

Like many victims of domestic violence, it’s easy to wish you worked from an office setting because then, you’d at least spend some time away from that “monster”. Additionally, actual workplaces are more likely to have a policy in place that provides victims of domestic violence with the resources they’d need to get away from an abusive relationship.

Seeking Refuge 

Of course, there’s no specific way to measure the severity of domestic violence. While physical domestic violence cases are more common, they could also involve emotional or sexual assaults. The sad part is that any of them can equally affect one’s ability to work, more so if they have to work from the same place where the abuse occurred.

This consequently forces most victims of domestic violence or abuse into seeking refuge elsewhere so they can have some peace of mind and be able to work. And unless you have an employer’s office to return to, this would mean seeking residence from your parents, friends, neighbor, or colleague, if not working from a hotel room.

Suffering in Silence 

It’s also not unheard of for many victims of domestic violence to suffer in silence because they feel it’s a private matter and that no one should be made aware of the incident. Many of them also refrain from reporting domestic violence incidents to the authorities for fear of what it might do to their jobs. In some cases, victims choose to remain silent because they feel that they’re not stable enough to fend for themselves relying just on their work-from-home jobs.

Approaching Victim Service Providers 

Many non-profit organizations provide refuge services for victims of domestic violence. Also called victim service providers, these organizations are often safer for the victim compared to hotels or asylum at a friend’s place that the perpetrator could easily track.

They also utilize domestic violence software for data insights that can help ensure the safety of the victim and their protection from the violent individual.

Nothing is wrong with working from home, even for a company that doesn’t have a formal workplace. And for what it’s worth, remote jobs actually provide more advantages most workers in an office setting would only dream of.

However, it is sadly worth noting that more than 50 percent of today’s companies lack established policies on how to prevent or handle domestic violence issues for their in-office staff, let alone their remote employees.

The above few pointers will hopefully help you or a loved one decide whether or not working from home is for you and what to do in case you’re a victim of domestic violence while at it.