Domestic Violence & Law firms

Conference on

Domestic Violence: why and how should law firms look to address it

United Kingdom, London

(International Bar Association (IBA

September 23, 2020


Wednesday 25 November | 0700 – 0815 EST (GMT-5) | 1200 – 1315 GMT | 2100 – 2215 JST (GMT+9) |


Covid-19 has forced full-time, home-based working and physical isolation from the outside world. It has led to a worrying rise in calls to domestic abuse helplines and reports of violence, including dedicated helplines for lawyers.

How are firms addressing these issues – if at all – and why should they take into account what happens to their staff outside the workplace?

Every workplace must consider the safety and wellbeing of its employees. Domestic violence knows no social or economic boundaries and occurs with alarming frequency, with the victim often suffering in silence.

The eye-watering statistics on prevalence indicate that this is a global pandemic of a different kind and the impact on the workplace should not be underestimated. Covid-19 has exacerbated the risk of employees experiencing domestic violence – whether from a partner or family member. This will affect quality of work, lead to higher levels of absenteeism and potentially create public relations issues if individuals are shown to have been perpetrators, adversely impacted or killed, and there was a complete absence of support structure available in their place of work.

With or without the Covid-19 crisis, domestic violence is a scourge that demands attention from all workplaces.

Why should law firms acknowledge this is a problem and seek to address it? What are others doing about this issue? What does a good domestic abuse specific policy include and should employers offer more over guidance and training to educate and protect their workforce? Is Covid-19 a catalyst for employers to do more?



  • Elizabeth Filkin EIDA, London
  • Corinna Lim AWARE, Singapore
  • Carolina Tavares Rodrigues General Electric, São Paulo
  • Lloyd Nicholas Vergara Supreme Court of the Philippines, Manila; Co-Chair, IBA Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) Law Committee
  • Anthony Wood Herbert Smith Freehills, Sydney, New South Wales

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This is an Open Access Session, which is free to attend. We ask that you please register for this session via the zoom registration link.

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