Family Violence in the Workplace

family violence

 

Did you know that 75% of family violence victims are harassed by their perpetrator at their place of employment? When people are victims of domestic violence, it doesn’t stay at home; it affects every area of life, including work.

Studies have shown that victims most often seek help in their workplaces. What does this mean for businesses? It means that HR managers and CEOs need to be proactive about helping employees in family violence situations, as it inevitably affects their quality of work.

So what are the first steps a business owner should take to provide support for employees being affected by family violence? The Center for Family Safety and Healing (TCFSH) is a great organization that provides education and training programs to businesses – at no cost to them. TCFSH has served over 180,000 employees and has helped almost 120 businesses develop an “Employee Action Plan” – these are designed to train HR, security & management staff to respond appropriately to different family situations.

Some of the “typical” situations include abusive phone calls, faxes, and emails to the victim at their workplace, unarmed and armed visits to the workplace, absenteeism, decreased productivity and increased use of medical services.

Some tips for creating a supportive workplace environment include:

–       Create an atmosphere where people can talk openly about family violence. This will start to change attitudes and behaviors toward the subject. It will also let victims know that help is available.

–       Understand how to supervise an employee who is a victim of abuse. The work environment should be stable. If it’s possible, temporary changes in job responsibilities, schedules or even locations can be a tremendous help to the victims.

–       Know how to supervise an employee who is a perpetrator of abuse. Do NOT act confrontational and be aware of safety issues with speaking with them.

If you think you have an employee who is either a victim or a perpetrator of family violence, contact Karen Days – president of TCFSH – for immediate direction and help at Karen.days@familysafetyandhealing.org.

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