Survey highlights impact of domestic abuse at work

Around 15% of women workers suffer from domestic abuse in 107 countries, according to a report by the Vodafone Foundation.

Depressed businesswoman


Around 15% of the female workforce in 107 countries have experienced domestic violence and abuse in the past 12 months, according to a new independent international study from KPMG commissioned by Vodafone.

The report reveals the damaging impact of domestic abuse on careers and businesses globally. More than one third (38%) of victims surveyed said they suffered from reduced productivity and 22% said they sometimes stopped going to work and/or would take days off.

Analysis of existing literature on domestic violence and abuse victims also revealed that the length of unplanned leave averages at 10.1 days per woman.

Vodafone, which won this year’s’s Top Employer Award for Family Support due its work on domestic abuse, has calculated that in the nine countries – UK, Ireland, Germany, Italy, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, India and Kenya – an estimated $2.1 billion in economic output is lost each year as a result of work absences related to abuse. It says four million women also missed out on a promotion as a result of domestic violence and abuse – suffering a related annual average salary loss of $2,900 per woman. This equates to approximately $13 billion in total potential earnings lost each year across those nine countries.

The study has been released as the Vodafone Foundation rolls out its Bright Sky app and other ‘apps against abuse’ to nine further countries offering information, advice and links to support services to people affected. Bright Sky, which launched in the UK in 2018, is now live in Ireland and will soon be available in the Czech Republic and South Africa. Italy, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Egypt, Hungary, Albania will follow by the end of 2020.

“Domestic abuse has a devastating impact on victims and society as today’s economic impact data clearly demonstrates,” said Leanne Wood, Chief Human Resources Officer at Vodafone and Trustee of the Vodafone Foundation.

“At Vodafone we offer paid safe leave, giving employees a chance to seek professional help during work hours. Bright Sky and other apps against abuse show how technology for good can reach millions of people around the globe offering localised help and advice.”

In addition to information and signposting, the Bright Sky app is designed to log incidents of domestic abuse without any content being saved on the device itself. It enables users to record incidents in a secure digital journal, using a text, audio, video or photo function. Evidence collated through this function will enable police to intervene and can help secure prosecutions. Since launching in the UK, Bright Sky has been downloaded almost 25,000 times. .


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