Domestic Violence in the Workplace

purplebowMuch of society deems domestic violence as a private, family matter. Employers are no exception. Employers, like workers, need to understand that domestic violence is not only a family problem, but an issue of violence that transcends family life and encroaches upon the working lives of employees in the workplace.

Domestic violence can impact the workplace in a variety of ways. Decreased productivity, increased health care costs, absenteeism and chronic tardiness are just a few of the ongoing consequences.

With acts of violence in public places increasing, it is more important now, than ever, for employers to take a proactive approach to mitigating acts of potential violence through training and education.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the United States Department of Labor indicate there are four types of workplace violence:

  • violence committed by strangers, such as trespassers, robbers or burglars
  • violence committed by customers or clients when receiving services, such as in restaurants, lounges and spas
  • violence committed by worker on worker
  • violence committed in personal relationships where violence is committed against an intended employee with whom the offender has had, or is having, an intimate relationship.

It should be noted that safety recommendations and suggested training for Domestic Violence in the workplace is limited and often non-existent among American employers.

Research shows that personal violence increases among businesses that are accessible to the general public, such as in hotels or retail, and women are at higher risk for this type of violence then men. (The Survey of Workplace Violence Prevention, Bureau of Labor Statistics, October, 2006). One in four women and one in seven men will experience severe physical domestic violence and one in three women who are victims of homicide are murdered by their intimate partner.

With that said, it is statistically likely that domestic violence impacts your place of employment in some way. As an employer, it is important to be aware of this and to pay attention to potential signs of how domestic violence may be negatively impacting your workplace, let alone the lives of your employees, clients, and guests. Time and time again, a lack of domestic violence training has been cited at businesses where personal violence has occurred.

Luma’s course will teach you about domestic violence, enhance your ability to identify potential victims and abusers, and educate you on legal mandates and ramifications; all of which can affect your company’s reputation and bottom line. Also, we are able to customize the training to fit the needs of a variety of businesses.

Ongoing training and staff education are essential in developing successful violence prevention programs. Companies have the responsibility to create communication procedures where employees can report potential threats and victimization faced by them or a colleague and the opportunity to confidentially share potential threats to the workplace.

Workplace domestic violence training helps ALL employees recognize appropriate resources for reporting, and helps create a safer, more supportive workplace. Opening the corporate culture to domestic violence awareness is not only the socially responsible thing to do, but it’s the right thing to do!

October is Domestic Violence awareness month. Pledge to bring awareness around this important issue to YOUR workplace. Ask for training, bring in literature and resources, contact your Human Resources Department and commit to developing safety planning that includes a response to domestic violence safely, knowledgeably and legally.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence visit or call 1-800-799-7233.

Learn more domestic violence training that Luma offers,

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