October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and each week we will be sharing one way you can take action to support those experiencing abuse in our community.
This week, we encourage you to advocate for domestic violence supports at your workplace. This email includes facts, suggested action steps, and links to resources to share with your human resources department or other decision-makers in your organization.
COVID-19 continues to be a traumatic event for us all. Some workers face the impossible task of caretaking, or homeschooling, while trying to manage a 40-plus hour work week. At the same time, some workers are experiencing increased threats of violence in their homes. During this crisis, employers can play a key role in supporting survivors of domestic violence in their workforce.
IMPACTS ON EMPLOYEES
One in four women experience domestic violence in their lifetime, and nearly 75% of survivors of domestic violence cite economic insecurity as the main reason they stayed with their abuser. We spend most of our waking hours at work, and yet most workplaces are not prepared to support employees who are experiencing domestic violence, sexual violence, and/or stalking.
Consider these facts:
- 60% of survivors in one study reported losing their jobs as a result of domestic violence
- 96% of survivors indicated that their job performance suffered as a result of the abuse
- More than 50% of stalking victims report being stalked at work
IMPACTS ON WORKPLACES
In 2003, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that domestic violence cost $8.3 billion dollars a year in direct health care costs and lost productivity. These issues hurt a business’ bottom line, and it’s in an employer’s best interest to proactively address them.
Consider these facts:
- 24% of workplace violence is a related to interpersonal relationships, situations where an individual gains access to a workplace and commit a crime against an employee or customer who is a current or former intimate partner.
- 35% of Vermont domestic violence perpetrators surveyed had contacted their partners in an abusive manner during the workday and used work resources to do so, including work phones, work vehicles, work computers, internet, or email.
To learn more about how domestic violence impacts workplaces, check out this fact sheet.
TAKE ACTION: HOW YOU CAN HELP
Workplaces Respond to Domestic and Sexual Violence is a National Resource Center committed to creating workplaces free from domestic violence, sexual harassment and violence, and stalking. No matter what your role is at your workplace, you will find resources at Workplaces Respond to help you advocate for a work environment that is supportive to domestic violence victims and survivors.
Consider taking one of these action steps:
- Advocate for a domestic violence policy at your workplace. Share this model policy with your human resources department or other decision-makers in your organization.
- Encourage supervisors to watch this training video or review this guide. Supervisors can play a critical role in both preventing and appropriately responding to the impacts of domestic on the workplace.
- Learn to recognize the signs of domestic violence in the workplace. If you suspect that an employee or co-worker is experiencing domestic violence, there are things you can do to help.
- Know the local resources available. The Women’s Resource Center provides services in Newport and Bristol Counties. Together, the members of the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence serve the entire state of Rhode Island.
Whether you are an employer, survivor or co-worker, or concerned specifically about supporting colleagues during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are resources available to help you create a more supportive work environment for victims of domestic violence.
HOW WILL YOU TAKE ACTION THIS WEEK?