Domestic violence can have a significant impact on workplace safety. When an employee is in an abusive relationship, it is not uncommon for the abuser to seek out the abused partner at work, endangering not only the victim but possibly co-workers.
Domestic violence in the workplace occurs both on and off the worksite
It includes all behaviors that interfere with the employee’s ability to perform work tasks. Examples include harassing or repeated phones calls, e-mails, faxes, and appearances at the work site. Domestic violence at home also can have substantial consequences at work. Sleep deprivation and physical injuries can negatively impact the employee’s ability to perform at work.
Employed batterers often use company time and resources, e.g. e-mail, cell phone, company car, to keep tabs on his partner every hour of the day.
How common is domestic violence in the workplace?
- Every year approximately 18,700 violent workplace events are committed by an intimate of the victim at the workplace.*
- Ninety-four percent of corporate security directors rank intimate partner violence as a major security problem.
- Seventy-four percent of employed battered women are harassed by their partners at work, either in person or over the telephone.
- The costs of intimate partner violence exceed $8 billion dollars annually.
Despite these statistics, more than 70 percent of businesses have no formal policy addressing workplace domestic violence.
What are potential warning signs:
- Tardiness/leaving early
- Frequent personal phone calls
- Performance decline
- Unexplained injuries, bruises or markings
- Change in personality
- Withdraw from co-workers
- Inappropriate use of clothing or make-up, like wearing a long-sleeve turtleneck in summer
What can I do at my company?
- Establish policies that support the domestic violence survivor in your workplace.
- Attend PADV’s annual When Domestic Violence Goes to Work conference October 10, 2012 at The Home Depot corporate office, and learn strategies and protocols to equip your company with effective responses to intimate partner violence in the workplace.
- Educate employees about domestic violence by inviting PADV to provide a Domestic Violence in the Workplace training .E-mail us and set up an appointment today.
- Create a safe and open environment at the workplace by displaying domestic violence posters and brochures and including articles about domestic violence in the employee newsletter.
- Donate to PADV. Consider coordinating a donation drive by collecting essential items for the emergency shelters. Your company can also sponsor a cell phone drive which will give survivors of domestic violence a lifeline to safety.