DV@Work NL

Domestic Violence @ Work

A Project of the St. John’s Status of Women Council

The St. John’s Status of Women Council is leading a project that will make a significant contribution to the research and policy gap associated with domestic violence (DV) and its effect on the provincial labour market.

The Project

The SJSWC has taken on an exciting three-year project that will address the need for research on how domestic violence (DV) impacts our workplaces. The DV@WorkNL researchers heard from nearly 2000 people through surveys, focus groups and roundtables, and the findings are clear. The impacts of domestic violence on workplaces and workers are real and lasting – with dramatic costs to our economy, institutions, families and communities. As one project participant stated:

We are seeing violence everywhere – and with our extended families as well. Imagine the courage it takes to speak out – when you realize how women risk being cut off from their entire support network.

Based on the findings of the DV@WorkNL research project, the St. John’s Status of Women Council is officially calling for a task force on gender-based violence in this province.


  • DV@WorkNL was developed by the St. John’s Status of Women’s Council, to address the need for more knowledge about the impacts of domestic violence on workers and workplaces and to increase the capacity of employers and unions to develop appropriate policies and resources.
  • This work aligns with a national strategy developed by the Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Children (CREVAWC) at the University of Western Ontario and the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC).
  • The online survey gathered responses from 1567 people in Newfoundland and Labrador. Focus groups and interviews reached a total of 241 people. Most survey respondents identified as women (88%), and 10% were Indigenous.


  • 54% of respondents said they experienced domestic violence, compared with 34% in a pan-Canadian study done by CREVAWC/CLC
  • 85% of respondents who experienced DV said it continued into their workplaces
  • 93% of survivors said the DV negatively affected their work performance and 47% said they had to take time off work
  • 65% of respondents said their employers were not aware, nor were they prepared, to deal with situations where DV was impacting the workplace
  • 57% of survivors said the DV caused them financial stress
  • 38% of survivors said their career choice or career path was influenced by the DV they experienced

A short summary of the DV@WorkNL research and recommendations entitled “Imagine the Courage” is available for download below, along with the full-length research report, our guide for employers, and other relevant resources.

Imagine the Courage Report

DV@Work-NL Research Report

DV@WorkNL Employer’s Guide

Resource List for Survivors

Power & Control Wheel

Homicide Timeline



    WHAT WE DON’T KNOW…IS HURTING US What we do know is that Newfoundland and Labrador has among the highest levels of Domestic Violence (DV) in Canada.  What we don’t know is the impact of that violence on workplaces in our province. To understand more, the St. John’s Status of Women Council has partnered with the […]

  • DV @ Work NL Project Update: Getting the Survey our the door

    The good news is that a national survey on Domestic Violence (DV) and its impact on the workforce, was circulated in 2014 and, thanks to this initial work by the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) and an amazing team at the University of Western Ontario (UWO) – there is ongoing work rolling right across the country. […]

  • Taking the DV @ WORK NL project on the road

    FACE TO FACE MEETINGS A key partnership with ‘Empowering Indigenous Women for Stronger Communities’ has informed and shaped so much of the qualitative work we have accomplished to date. Odelle Pike and an ever-growing list of feminist activists have shaped the way we are asking questions and building key concepts for the discussion groups. Beginning […]

See all updates from our researchers


Our Researchers

  • Brenda Grzetic

    Over the past twenty years, Brenda has worked in academic, industrial, community and government settings. She holds a Diploma in Electronics Engineering Technology and a Masters in Women’s Studies (Memorial University). She has received numerous awards including the Memorial University Medal of Excellence for Research and the Women in Trades and Technology National Network Award of Merit. She is a past recipient of a 3-year Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Canada Graduate Scholarship (PhD, Dalhousie) where she studied workforce change and labour migration. Brenda is a strong advocate for women working in all occupational areas and is author of the book Women Fishes These Days about women’s experiences working on fishing boats in Newfoundland and Labrador. She is excited to be part of the St. John's Women's Centre and this important project  that will improve our knowledge about workforce issues affecting women while also improving key workplace policies and frontline supports for women.   
  • Jenne Nolan

    A self-described ‘history nerd’ Jenne has completed graduate study/research at two universities where she trained as a feminist historian. She began her graduate work at Queens University and completed her second and third post-graduate degrees thanks to a SSHRCC at Yale University. First and foremost a community organizer, Jenne has come to believe that is isn’t just ‘what’ you do but ‘how’ you do it. Anxious to see diverse voices and expertise powerfully combined, you can view a sample of Jenne’s work as an interpretive planner on permanent display at the Commissariat House Provincial Historic Site in St. John’s. Jenne wrote her MA on the first public librarian in Montreal who wrote under a male pseudonym for more than two decades for the first bilingual labour newspaper in Canada. Complacency is not it Jenne’s DNA so she is thrilled to start work at the St. John’s Status of Women Council. In step with this amazing team of feminists, she is working hard to contribute to a massive cross-provincial network that will mount a multi-tiered, strategic response to the upsurge of intimate partner violence in Newfoundland and Labrador.