Quarter of German business leaders think physical violence against partner justified, study finds

‘Our research shows that victims face a lottery of who they should turn to for support at work,’ says expert

Maya Oppenheim
Women’s Correspondent
Friday 12 November 2021 09:59
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<p>Researchers warn findings show a troubling dearth of employers who had structures in place to help workers who may have been subjected to domestic abuse during the pandemic</p>

Researchers warn findings show a troubling dearth of employers who had structures in place to help workers who may have been subjected to domestic abuse during the pandemic

A quarter of Germanbusiness leaders think physical violence against a partner can be reasonable and justified, new research has found.

The research, carried out by YouGov, discovered one quarter of the managers thought physical violence perpetrated against a partner can be justified in at least one of the contexts outlined, which included the “refusal of sex” or the “failure to complete housework”.

Ba Linh Le, of Frontline100, an organisation dedicated to tackling domestic abuse who were also involved in the research, said: “Our research shows that 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.”

The new findings tally with research by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) carried out in 2019 which discovered the percentage of German women aged between 15 and 49 who deem a husband to be vindicated in hitting or beating his wife was the highest out of all developed nations.

Researchers at the time discovered on average, eight per cent of women thought a husband could be defensible in hitting or beating his wife, from one per cent or less in Denmark and Ireland and surging to 18 per cent in South Korea.

While in Germany, some 20 per cent of women deem a man can be justified in striking or beating their wife or partner under specific circumstances.

The fresh research, carried out by Frontline100, which strives to improve community responses to domestic abuse, was conducted from the end of July to the beginning of August to mark Germany’s slow return to the workplace after working remotely during the Covid crisis.

Researchers, who polled around 1,000 business leaders and HR managers in Germany, warned their findings showed a troubling dearth of employers who had structures in place to help workers who may have been subjected to domestic abuse during the pandemic.

Two thirds of business managers and HR leaders thought they had a responsibility in helping domestic abuse victims, however almost one in five of them had also said they were in favour of partners perpetrating physical violence in certain contexts.

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