By: Lindah Muturi, Allison Markowski and Lisa de Pagter

Two out of every five people in the Netherlands have experienced domestic violence in their lifetimes. One in four women have experienced Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) within the last five years. While many cases of IPV take place at home, they have serious long-lasting psychological, emotional and physical effects on the victims. Side effects of suffering through IPV are often present when the victim is trying to carry on with their day. This means that IPV victims often have to carry on with their tasks while at a disadvantage. 

In this simulation, participants are placed into an alternate setting where they are all competing for the open position of secretary at a company. Various physical, mental and social scenarios await, as the job-hopefuls try to complete tasks and show their best selves to their potential employers. The playing field is not as fair as it seems at first glance however: Some participants not only have to face the grueling job selection procedure, but their personal demons as well.


Our simulation narrows in on the effects of IPV in the workplace. We aim to increase understanding of some of the side effects IPV entails in an effort to increase participant’s empathy for victims. We will take the participants through various physical, mental, and social scenarios to depict different tasks that they are completing in the quest to interview for a position as a secretary at our company. While other participants will be free to make decisions and try their best to get the job with no additional disadvantages, the victims of IPV will have to deal with various physical and mental manifestations of the abuse they face. 

At the end of the simulation, the participants will be invited to discuss what they thought went on during the simulation. The IPV victims’ profiles will be read out loud in an effort to depict the different types of abuse that IPV suffer. Different participants who got the IPV profiles will be encouraged to explain the choices they made during the simulation. If the group is large enough, participants who had the same IPV victim profile will be encouraged to compare and contrast their decisions in order to see the varied perspectives people have on the same issue. 


By the end of the simulation, participants should be able to:

  1. Identify and reflect on various dimensions of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV).
  2. Explain the cause-effect relationship that influences how victims of IPV behave at work.
  3. Have learned about the difficult decisions victims of IPV have to make at work.
  4. Have learned about some of the reasons why women stay with abusive partners, including financial dependence and fear that children might be taken away.
  5. Be aware of some service providers who assist IPV victims.
  6. Have an overall understanding and increased empathy for people dealing with IPV in the workplace.

A detailed package for distribution is currently under development.

– Struggle in the City Team

Carrying Home to Work

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