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Fristad och brottsplats

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Susanne Strand

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Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a significant societal problem and constitutes a violation of human rights. To reach the government’s goal of eradicating IPV in Sweden, it is necessary that several different agencies and organizations across all societal arenas are engaged and actively participate in violence prevention. The workplace is a potentially important arena which could facilitate the identification of employees who are victims and/or perpetrators, as well as play a key role in prevention further violence. The overall aim of this literature review was therefore to increase the knowledge about the effect of IPV on the workplace by identifying studies about the extent of victimization and perpetration of IPV among employees, the consequences of IPV on work-related aspects for both employees and employers (e.g., productivity and work environment), and the financial costs that IPV entails for the employers. As well as identifying the primary knowledge gaps within this field. Based on previous literature reviews, the primary aim of this literature review was to gather knowledge of specific relevance to a Nordic context. Systematic literature searches were conducted in several databases for both peer reviewed studies and “grey literature” (e.g., governmental reports and theses). A total of 24 studies, including 20 peer reviewed studies and four reports, were included after the review process. Most studies were conducted in Australia, Canada, and the US, only one Swedish report was found. After a thematic analysis of the collected material, a relatively high relevance was shown among employees regarding reported IPV victimization (9,6 – 53 percent). IPV victimization was more common among women (19,2 – 53 percent) than men (9,6 – 29 percent). Only a handful of studies examined the extent of self-disclosed perpetration of IPV among employees, ranging between 4,1 – 32 percent. In terms of the consequences of IPV on work-related aspects, a range of negative effects were identified for both victims and perpetrators in relation to work capacity, productivity (‘presenteeism’), workplace relationships and workplace environment. As well as an increased absence from work (‘absenteeism’).

No studies examining the potential financial consequences of IPV on a specific workplace or for a specific profession were found. However, information about the financial aspect of IPV is available in the present study but based on a broader, national economic, perspective. The overview also showed a knowledge gap regarding the impact of IPV in the workplace in a Nordic context, which may make it difficult to transfer the results to Swedish workplaces. Furthermore, we found no studies which studied honour-based violence, or explicitly focused on LGBTQI+ relationships, in relation to the workplace. Additionally, more research about the financial consequences of IPV for specific workplaces is needed. Based on the available knowledge about the extent of IPV and its consequences for employees, it is important that future research within this field also focuses on how the workplace can work efficiently with preventing IPV.