Domestic Violence Comes to Work

Domestic violence affects all areas of the lives of the victim. Whether it be physical, emotional, mental, or financial, caring around the burden of being abused is not an easy task. It’s a part of your very being. If you had a cold, you couldn’t just set it aside, go to work feeling fine, come home eight hours later, pick up your cold and continue to be sick. Neither can an abuse victim set aside the feeling of being a victim and pick it up later. She carries it with her to work, to the store, on vacation, to visit family….everywhere she goes.
Think about where you work. If one in four women and one in ten men are victims of domestic violence (DV) or intimate partner violence (IPV) sometime in their life, how many victims and survivors do you think work with you, perhaps sitting in the next cubicle or desk or office or beside you on the assembly line? How many are afraid to go home after work every day? How many come to work bruised, ashamed and distracted?
The stats are staggering. Domestic violence has a huge impact on corporate America. Just Google “the cost of domestic violence in corporate America” and you can read article upon article detailing what the cost is. And of course, corporate America is concerned about money.
I’m not…I’m concerned about victims.
I’m concerned that all the baggage a DV victim is taking to work every day, and keeping bottled up inside her, is affecting her ability to do her job and maybe even keep her job. I’m concerned that the days she has to take off to go to court hearings, meet with attorneys or counselors or take care of other DV related issues will cause her coworkers to think she is getting special treatment, or worse, get her fired. I’m concerned that her fragile emotional state from being abused will suffer even more if she knows people are gossiping about her behind her back in the work place. I’m concerned that her abuser will harass her at work through phone calls and she won’t be able to concentrate.
People have a tendency to think that an abusive relationship is the same as a normal healthy relationship. So, if her partner is harassing your coworker with many phone calls throughout the day, she should just tell him to stop, right? And he’ll listen and quit harassing her, right? Nope, that’s not the way an abusive relationship works. The abuser wants control, so if he knows the phone calls are upsetting the victim,(and he does know that) he will continue them and if she asks him to quit, that’s giving up control to her, so that isn’t happening. See? The dynamics are totally different. A victim cannot control what the abuser does, ever.

The solution?

training
• Educate all the employees in a company about domestic violence. People are much less likely to judge when they know the circumstances behind another’s behavior. They are more likely to be understanding and helpful if they know what a DV victim has to live with.
• Have a DV policy in place to inform and protect not only the victim, but other employees as well.
• Ask for a volunteer or assign someone to be a domestic violence awareness advocate…someone in your company that is empathetic, discrete and compassionate. Someone who can listen to a victim and provide her with support and resources. Ideally, that person will be a survivor of domestic violence, because you have no idea what it’s like unless you’ve been there.
And hire me to educate employees, and train supervisors and the assigned advocate on how to do all of the above.

 

I am now offering three training sessions – Domestic Violence Awareness Training for Managers, Employee Awareness Training and training for the designated DV awareness advocate.

 

 

I am so excited about these trainings. Education is the first step to understanding. Understanding leads to empathy and concern and that leads to finding solutions. The information you will obtain in my trainings will help not only the victim, but management and other employees. Having a DV Awareness policy in place in your company will prepare everyone for the inevitable – having a victim of domestic violence as your employee. Management will know what to do, employees will know what to do and the victim will get the support she needs.
Please feel free to reach out and we can discuss how a DV policy for your employees would be, not only beneficial, but a necessary part of your employee handbook.

Manager’s Training:
2- hour training
Includes:
About domestic abuse
Victim Awareness
How DV affects the workplace
Why the employer should get involved
Educating your employees

Employee Awareness Training:
½- hour training
Why employees should become aware
What makes a victim’s day different
Safety awareness for all

Victim Advocate Training:
2- hour training
Guidelines for dealing with a victim
Keeping safe in the workplace
(can be scheduled with managers training
or at a later date)

Contact for pricing.

The material in this workshop includes a vivid description of domestic violence. Please make the attendees aware of this in case someone is a victim or survivor and may be triggered by what they hear.