One in Four German Employers Say Partner Violence Sometimes Okay
(Bloomberg) -- One in four German business leaders say that there are circumstances where physical violence against a partner is justified, according to a survey.
Some 24% of managers, executives and business owners who participated in the study selected at least one reason that, in their view, made such violence acceptable. The research was conducted in July and August by YouGov and Frontline100, a Germany-based anti-domestic-violence organization.
The figures come as workplaces across the world attempt to address social injustices and insufficient representation within their own organizations. They also underscore how Germany often lags behind other nations in acknowledging inequities faced by vulnerable groups, such as women and minorities.
Domestic violence became a particularly prevalent issue during the pandemic, with many countries including Germany reporting rising cases as lockdowns forced people to stay in their homes.
The survey of 753 business leaders and 252 HR managers showed that the majority didn’t believe that members of their staff were likely to be experiencing domestic abuse. At the same time, two thirds were either “very” or “fairly” confident in their organization’s ability to signpost them to support services if they were.
“Victims face a lottery of who they should turn to for support at work, with a high chance that they might disclose their situation to a senior manager who thinks they deserve to be abused because they didn’t wash the dishes last night,” said Frontline100 researcher Ba Linh Le.
A 2019 paper by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development reported that 22% of German women said they have experienced violence in a relationship at least once in their lifetime, slightly above the OECD average.
German women’s attitudes on the subject point to a deeper issue: nearly 20% of women -- more than in any other country in Europe -- considered a husband to be justified in hitting or beating his wife, according to the OECD report.
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