“I’m living in a Domestic and Family Violence relationship”.

“Eight years ago, I knew nothing about Domestic and Family Violence (DFV). In fact, I knew so little about the topic, that I didn’t realise I was living in a DFV situation.” – Jo Mason, CEO and Founder of WorkHaven.

Those are the words of Jo Mason who was in a DFV situation, but it wasn’t until she learnt more about the topic that she realised what was happening in her own life. After leaving her situation, Jo said she was lucky enough to be supported by Brisbane Domestic Violence Service.

“They made my home safe and provided counselling support to help me understand what had happened,” Jo said.

Due to her experience, Jo was invited to become an advocate to share her story and raise awareness of DFV and advocate for change.

“This role also gave me the opportunity to learn from experts and start to build my understanding of DFV beyond the lens of my own experience.”

Jo (pictured) said sadly, the impacts of her DFV rippled beyond the breakdown of her relationship where she experienced the aftershocks in every element of her life.

“One major casualty was my work,” she said. “My workplace didn’t understand DFV or its impacts. There were no provisions or support in place, if anything they made my situation worse, and so four weeks after leaving my home, I also left my job and my career fell off a cliff face.”

Due to her own experience and learning about others and understanding the important role of the workplace, Jo founded WorkHaven to provide employers, industries and communities with the tools, insights, and information to help facilitate the right conversations in a manner that reflects their specific needs.

“I launched WorkHaven three years ago. Our focus is to equip workplaces with the knowledge, skills, and resources to address DFV in meaningful and effective ways. We take an action-orientated approach and everything we do starts with the question – Will this reduce the impact and incidence of DFV?

““We have worked with some incredible organisations across the corporate, government, and community sectors. To date our resources have been available to over 90,000 workers across Australia. Our clients are from diverse industries and locations with a vast span of organisational cultures and each is committed to playing their part in preventing DFV through awareness, empowerment, and action.”

For more information about WorkHaven, please visit workhaven.com.au 

To assist employers in how to recognise and help employees that maybe experiencing DFV as well as understanding the new employer legislation for DFV paid leave coming into effect on August 1, Jo will be guest speaker at Integreat Queensland’s FREE Employer breakfast about DFV paid leave both in Rockhampton and Gladstone.

Funded through the Safer Pathways program by the Department of Social Services and held appropriately during Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month in May, with guest speakers from Community Services Industry Association, the Services Union, and local Domestic and Family Violence support organisations, the breakfast will give employers real solutions and tools to help them navigate this important topic.

• Gladstone Friday 12 May 2023: Gladstone Engineering Alliance. Connect here to register.
• Rockhampton Wednesday 31 May 2023: CocoBrew Rockhampton. Connect here to register.

For more information or to register by phone, please call 07 4900 1617 or email contactus@integreatqld.org.au

Confidential information, counselling and support for people impacted by domestic and family violence (including employees and employers) is available at the 1800 RESPECT website, the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service.

Learning to talk: Employers are encouraged to create a supportive workplace to address domestic violence.

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