Domestic Violence & the Workplace

 

Domestic Violence and the Workplace Training

Domestic Violence and the Workplace: The Incident, the Victim, and the Abuser

 

Problem Statement: 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime[i].  Domestic violence and its effects spill over into the workforce on a regular basis. The statistics are staggering, yet often overlooked. The Family Violence Prevention Fund notes that 74 percent of working, battered women are harassed by their partners while at the workplace. The U.S Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor statistics, in 2000, found homicide to be the second leading cause of death on the job. The number of rapes and sexual assaults committed against women on the job number above 25,000 according to the U.S Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor. Further, over one million women are stalked annually in the United States and at least of quarter of them admit to missing work due to the stalking. The effects of domestic violence in the workplace are felt by employees and employers alike. Productivity, absenteeism, job loss and increased health insurance cost are all results of domestic violence. A report by the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department entitled “Domestic Violence and the Workplace” cites that domestic violence costs employers between $3-5 billion each year.[ii]  In one case, a wrongful death action against an employer who failed to respond to an employee’s risk of domestic violence on the job cost the employer $850,000[iii]

 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 15,980 workers in the private industry experienced trauma from nonfatal workplace violence in 2014. These incidents required days away from work.[iv]  Of those victims who experienced trauma from workplace violence:

  • 67% were female
  • 69% worked in the healthcare and social assistance industry
  • 23% required 31 or more days away from work to recover, and 20% involved 3 to 5 days away from work

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 409 workers in private industry and government were workplace homicide victims in 2014.[v]  Of those victims who died from workplace violence:

  • 83% were male
  • 49% were white
  • 32% were working in a retail establishment

 

Currently, most employers do not have specific domestic violence policies despite the knowledge that it adversely affects the workplace.  Although there are barriers to addressing this issue, with proper guidance, employers can become involved by: 1) Educating all employees about domestic violence and how to access help. 2) Offering resources through a confidential EAP program as well as in employee materials. 3) Developing a worksite domestic violence policy, including leave policies and security measures. 4) Collaborating with local domestic violence organizations and law enforcement agencies for education and service referrals.[vi]

Employers can play a key role in support, intervention, and ending the public health epidemic of domestic violence.  It is important for employers to collaborate with organizations to bring vital information to their administration and employees.

 

Project Description:  Our training program provides employers and employees an inside look at domestic violence, conditioned victims, and abusers.  We give options for interventions, policy and procedures, and ways to provide support for potential victims.  There is a link between mass shootings and domestic violence, we educate on the warning signs.  We educated on how domestic violence incidents at the workplace can turn deadly.  We help employers collaborate with different area organizations to offer support for workers in need.

 

Goals and Objectives:

  • That in our 1 year follow up every attendee can report that they have used the information we have provided if they were exposed to domestic violence in the workplace.
  • Employees are more aware of domestic abuse signs and understand the importance of support and safe by stander interventions.
  • Employers are more aware of their options in supporting potential victims of abuse and can lead them to more local resources.
  • Employers are willing to put policies and procedures in place to handle a domestic violence incident.
  • Employees are confident in speaking to employers about dangerous situations that may present at work.

 

 

 

[i] Black, M.C., Basile, K.C., Breiding, M.J., Smith, S.G., Walters, M.L., Merrick, M.T., Chen, J., & Stevens, M. (2011). The national intimate partner and sexual violence survey: 2010 summary report.  Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/nisvs_report2010-a.pdf.

[ii] http://domesticviolencestatistics.org/domestic-violence-in-the-workplace/

[iii]  Burke, D.F.  January, 2000.  “When Employees are Vulnerable, Employers are Too.”  The National Law Journal.  Retrieved January 9, 2004.  http://www.semmes.com/publications.

[iv] Bureau of Labor Statistics (2014). TABLE R4. Number of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses involving days away from work1 by industry and selected events or exposures leading to injury or illness, private industry, 2014

[v] Bureau of Labor Statistics (2014). TABLE A-2. Fatal occupational injuries resulting from transportation incidents and homicides, all United States, 2014

[vi] https://www.tpchd.org/files/library/c9df481abc6a4b5d.pdf