Steps to Take in the
Workplace to End Domestic Violence
At one time, employers may have thought of domestic violence as something
that not of their concern, a “private family matter” that
should not be brought to work. As societal awareness of domestic violence
has grown in recent years, employers and labor organizations have begun
to consider the special needs of their workers who may be victims or perpetrators
of domestic violence. The same organizations have begun to consider the
implications of those needs for corporate policy, program, and interest.
Employers and unions are now realizing that domestic violence affects
people in the workplace in many ways that have a direct bearing on productivity
and effectiveness. As a result, employers are starting to seek help in
developing policies and programs to address human resource issues, work
place safety, workplace security and employee training as well as education
on the dynamics of domestic violence.
Here are ten steps employers,
employees, and unions can take in the work place to end domestic violence:
Discuss with your CEO or management team the possibility of adopting
principles that clearly communicate your commitment to establishing
a workplace that is intolerant of domestic violence.
Work with the leadership art your workplace to develop and implement
personnel leave and benefit policies which recognize and are responsive
to the particular needs of employees who are victims of domestic violence
Human Resource and Employee Assistance Programs
Determine whether your company’s employee assistance program
includes domestic violence services or referrals. If it does not,
speak with your human resources director or the appropriate manager
about the possibility of expanding the program to address the needs
of employees facing family violence in their homes.
Establish a training program for all supervisors and managers at
your workplace to give them guidance on how to respond when an employee
is a victim of domestic violence. Contact your local domestic violence
shelter or program to setup several training sessions addressing the
dynamics of domestic violence and for educational materials on local
domestic violence services.
Education for Employees
Sponsor a workshop or a series of workshops on domestic violence.
Invite a speaker from your local domestic violence program who can
share information on local resources. Be aware that a presentation
about abuse can be difficult for victims and survivors.
Distribute educational materials about domestic violence to all
employees in your workplace. Display brochures and posters in public
places that explain the issue and send the message that there is no
excuse for domestic violence. Make victim safety information available
in private places such as restrooms or in paycheck envelopes.
Include an article about domestic violence in your company newsletter
Security in the Workplace
Find out whether security guards at your workplace have been trained
to handle the special safety needs of battered women, who may be stalked
at work. If they have not, speak with the appropriate manager to arrange
training and to help security personnel develop safety procedures.
Be sure to contact your local domestic violence program for vital
information that should be considered.
Set up a meeting between security personnel at your workplace and
local law enforcement agencies to help facilitate appropriate information
sharing and the development of collaborative working relationships.
- For more information on addressing domestic violence in the workplace
or for assistance please contact your local domestic violence program/shelter
or you may contact the Ohio Domestic Violence Network, the statewide
coalition on domestic violence at (614) 781-9651 or (800) 934-9840.