Gender-based violence (GBV) in the workplace refers to any harmful act that targets an individual based on their gender. It includes harassment, assault, and discrimination. 

Addressing GBV in the workplace is crucial to ensure a safe and respectful environment for all employees.

According to the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability, 184 women and girls were violently killed, primarily by men. One woman or girl is killed every 48 hours in 2022. 

Considering these dire stats, it is essential to implement strategies to prevent gender based violence in the workplace. 

This article provides a comprehensive overview of gender-based violence (GBV) in the workplace, including its definition, the importance of addressing it, and strategies for its prevention. 

Ensuring a safe and respectful workplace is crucial for everyone. Gender-based violence (GBV) in the workplace refers to any harmful act that targets an individual based on their gender. Women are the target of gender-based victimization at a rate nearly double that of men.

By understanding GBV and taking proactive measures, organizations can create a safe and inclusive workplace where everyone feels respected and valued.

Prevention Strategies for Gender-Based Violence in the Workplace

Gender-based violence (GBV) in the workplace can be prevented through various strategies including:


Let’s explore each of these strategies in detail so you can utilize them to prevent violence in the workplace. 

1. Education and Training


Education and training programs are crucial steps in preventing gender-based violence (GBV) in the workplace. 

By providing employees with Workplace Violence and Harassment Awareness Training, they can effectively recognize, prevent, and respond to GBV.

Training should cover various topics, including:

  1. Understanding Gender-Based Violence: Employees should be educated on what constitutes GBV, including its different forms, such as sexual harassment, verbal abuse, and physical violence.

  2. Recognizing Warning Signs: Training should focus on recognizing warning signs of GBV. Employees should learn to identify behaviors that may indicate harassment or abuse.

  3. Bystander Intervention: Employees should be trained in bystander intervention, empowering them to safely intervene or report incidents of GBV when they witness them.

  4. Reporting Incidents: It is crucial to provide clear guidance on the procedures for reporting incidents. Employees should know how to report GBV incidents and who to report to, and they should be assured that their concerns will be handled with sensitivity and confidentiality.

It's essential to ensure that all employees, from top management to entry-level staff, receive regular training to reinforce a culture of respect and zero tolerance for GBV.

By equipping employees with the knowledge and skills to recognize and address GBV, organizations can create a safer and more respectful workplace for everyone. 

Regular refresher courses should also be conducted to ensure all employees remain informed and vigilant regarding GBV prevention. 

Creating a workplace where everyone is educated and prepared to prevent GBV is a critical step toward fostering a culture of respect and gender equality.

2. Creating Supportive Work Environments


Creating a supportive work environment is a crucial step in preventing gender-based violence (GBV) in the workplace. Employers should promote a culture of respect, inclusivity, and gender equality. 

Here are the steps to prevent workplace violence by creating supportive work environments:

  1. Establish a Culture of Respect: Employers should develop and enforce policies that foster employee respect and dignity. This includes promoting equal treatment, regardless of gender, and creating an atmosphere where discriminatory behavior is not tolerated.

  2. Provide Access to Support Services: Employers should ensure that victims of GBV have access to counseling services, legal assistance, and other support systems. This helps victims feel supported and provides the resources they need to address the situation effectively.

  3. Open Communication Channels: Encourage open communication by providing multiple avenues for employees to voice their concerns. This includes establishing confidential reporting systems, anonymous hotlines, or designated individuals employees can approach with their issues.

  4. Zero Tolerance Policy: Communicate a zero-tolerance policy towards GBV. Employees should be aware that any form of GBV will be met with severe consequences, including disciplinary action and potential termination.

  5. Promote Gender Equality: Strive to create a work environment where all employees, regardless of gender, are treated equally and respectfully. This includes offering equal opportunities for career advancement, fair wages, and eliminating gender biases from all workplace policies and practices.

By creating a supportive work environment, employers can significantly reduce the risk of gender-based violence. 

Employees will feel safer, more valued, and more likely to report incidents, helping to foster a culture of respect and zero tolerance for GBV.

3. Implementing Reporting Mechanisms


Implementing reporting mechanisms is crucial in preventing gender-based violence in the workplace.

Establishing Clear Reporting Procedures

Establish clear and accessible reporting procedures for gender-based violence incidents. Employees should be informed about how and where to report any form of violence or harassment. 

Provide multiple reporting options to ensure that all employees feel comfortable and safe when reporting incidents. This could include reporting to HR, a designated manager, or through an anonymous reporting system.

Ensuring Confidentiality and Non-Retaliation

Ensure confidentiality and non-retaliation for individuals reporting gender-based violence incidents. 

Guarantee that victims feel safe and protected when reporting incidents and reassure them that their privacy will be respected. 

Establish clear policies that protect individuals from retaliation for reporting incidents.

Providing Support for Victims

Offer support services for victims, including access to counseling, legal assistance, and other support resources. Implement employee assistance programs (EAPs) to provide victims with emotional and practical support. 

Ensure that victims have access to resources to help them cope with the emotional and psychological effects of gender-based violence.

Investigating and Addressing Reported Incidents Promptly

Investigate and address reported incidents promptly and thoroughly. Take all reports of gender-based violence seriously and ensure that appropriate actions are taken. 

Disciplinary measures should be implemented for perpetrators, and victims should be supported throughout the investigation process.

Implementing clear reporting mechanisms ensures that gender-based violence incidents are promptly addressed, and victims feel safe and supported in the workplace. 

Creating a culture of respect and zero tolerance for gender-based violence is essential for maintaining a healthy and productive work environment.

4. Promoting Gender Equality


Promoting gender equality is a vital strategy for preventing gender-based violence (GBV) in the workplace. Here are the steps to prevent GBV by promoting gender equality:

  1. Equal Opportunity Policies: Implement policies that ensure equal opportunities for all employees, regardless of gender. This includes fair hiring, promotion practices, and equal pay for equal work.

  2. Gender Sensitivity Training: Conduct gender sensitivity training for all employees. This training should focus on eliminating stereotypes, biases, and discriminatory behaviors. It should also emphasize the importance of mutual respect and understanding in the workplace.

  3. Flexible Work Arrangements: Offer flexible work arrangements that accommodate the needs of all employees, including working parents and caregivers. This helps create a more inclusive work environment where men and women can effectively balance their work and personal lives.

  4. Leadership by Example: Leadership should lead by example in promoting gender equality. They should actively encourage and support gender diversity in all aspects of the workplace, from recruitment to leadership positions.

  5. Gender-Inclusive Policies: Implement policies that address gender-specific issues, such as parental leave, childcare, and family support. These policies should be inclusive and support men and women in balancing their work and personal lives.

  6. Encouraging Participation: Encourage women's participation and leadership in traditionally male-dominated fields. Promote mentorship programs and networking opportunities to support women's career growth.

By promoting gender equality, organizations can create a more inclusive and respectful workplace, reducing the risk of gender-based violence. 

Employees will feel valued, respected, and empowered, contributing to a safer and healthier work environment.

5. Engaging Men and Boys in Prevention Efforts


Engaging men and boys in the prevention of gender-based violence (GBV) is essential for creating a workplace culture that promotes equality and respect. 

Here are the steps to prevent GBV by engaging men and boys in prevention efforts:

  1. Education and Awareness: Educate men and boys about the impact of GBV and the role they can play in preventing it. Training programs should focus on challenging traditional gender roles and stereotypes and promoting healthy relationships.

  2. Leadership and Role Modeling: Encourage male employees to promote positive masculinity and join the fight against GBV. Leadership should demonstrate a commitment to gender equality and actively support initiatives to prevent GBV.

  3. Encouraging Open Dialogue: Create opportunities for open discussions about GBV. Men and boys should feel comfortable discussing issues related to GBV and understand how their actions and behaviors can contribute to prevention.

  4. Fostering Empathy and Respect: Develop programs that promote empathy, respect, and understanding. Encourage men and boys to recognize and challenge behaviors that perpetuate GBV, fostering a culture of mutual respect and support.

  5. Supporting Survivor Advocacy: Encourage men and boys to support survivors of GBV. Offer training on how to respond appropriately and support survivors in the workplace.

  6. Community Engagement: Engage men and boys in community initiatives that aim to prevent GBV. Encourage participation in local events, campaigns, and advocacy groups working towards ending GBV.

By engaging men and boys in prevention efforts, workplaces can create a culture of respect, equality, and safety, significantly reducing the risk of gender-based violence. Employees can work towards building a more inclusive and supportive environment for everyone.


Gender-based violence (GBV) in the workplace is a serious type of workplace violence that affects the safety, well-being, and dignity of employees. 

Addressing the topic and implementing the strategies to prevent gender based violence in the workplace is essential to creating a work environment that promotes respect, equality, and safety for all. 

Throughout this article, we have explored various strategies and approaches to prevent GBV in the workplace.

By implementing prevention strategies such as education and training, creating supportive work environments, implementing reporting mechanisms, organizations can create a workplace culture that values respect, inclusivity, and safety.

It is crucial for employers and employees alike to recognize the impact of GBV and to work together to prevent it. 

Employers are responsible for implementing policies, procedures, and support systems that protect employees from GBV. Employees play a significant role in creating a workplace culture of respect, equality, and support.

Preventing GBV protects individuals from harm and contributes to a healthier and more productive work environment.