We often think of domestic violence as something that happens at home. While most physical abuse happens out of sight, in reality a domestic violence victim is not free from the power and control even when they leave home. I was reading an article last night that illustrated how vulnerable and unprepared businesses feel when domestic violence enters the workplace. Tragically, the University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center lost two employees within six months due to domestic violence. In one case a young mother was shot in front of her 3 year old by a former partner. Just 5 months later a nurse was stabbed to death by her son after repeated domestic incidents.
Domestic violence impacts your employees and your bottom line. Often when a victim leaves the abusive partner, the abuser may concentrate his/her focus on the workplace to stalk, harass or otherwise control the victim.
- 21% of full time employed adults have been victims of domestic violence, and most indicate their work performance was significantly impacted.
- 40% of these victims report being harassed at work by their abuser.
- 74% of perpetrators had easy access to their partner’s workplace.
- 21% of offenders contacted their victim at work in violation of an order of protection.
What does a business owner or manager need to know?
- Wellspring offers a full range of crisis and support services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault… including safety planning while at work.
- Wellspring also has an Employer Toolkit to help managers and supervisors recognize and respond when an employee is experiencing abuse.
- Our advocates are available 24 hours/day not just to help victims of abuse, but also to provide support and guidance for anyone who has someone in their life who is being victimized–that someone may be a son or daughter, friend, a neighbor, or an employee.
As I read the article about the St. Joseph Medical Center, I was struck by how helpless the staff felt as they lacked company policies to assist an employee who was experiencing domestic violence. Wellspring can help your organization to increase awareness, develop policies to support someone who may be experiencing abuse, and maintain a safe workplace. Call us at 518-583-0280 to find out how we can assist you.