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Domestic Violence: Effects on the Workplace 

Domestic violence often follows a victim to work. The U.S. Department of Justice once reported that 13,000 acts of domestic violence occurred at the workplace in a year. Both victims and abusers may experience decreased productivity as a result of problems associated with domestic violence, such as legal and medical problems.

What Can Employers Do?

There are a number of ways that employers can combat domestic violence, assist employees in need, and improve productivity at the workplace.

  • Increase awareness of domestic violence in your workplace. Invite speakers to address employees and inform them about domestic violence and how it can affect the workplace. Local domestic violence programs may offer educational seminars free of charge. Click below to find the local domestic violence shelter nearest you.

  • Make information about local domestic violence and sexual assault programs and other resources available at work.

  • Provide support and assistance to victims of domestic violence. Be flexible with work hours and locations. Offer to screen calls, provide escorts to and from the vehicle, or grant additional leave to handle legal, medical, or family concerns.

  • Set up an emergency fund for victims of abuse.

  • If an employee has been abusive, state that the abusive behavior is wrong. Make information available on batterer intervention programs.

  • Encourage employees to utilize Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) when help is needed.

Local Domestic Violence Shelter - picture of a house  Local Domestic Violence Shelters

Domestic Violence - Safe at Work

If you are experiencing domestic violence, take steps to help you stay safe at work. Consider the following:

  • Keep emails or notes of any threats you receive while at work.

  • Arrange an escort to and from your car.

  • Ask to have your calls screened.

  • If you have a protective order, make sure you keep a copy with you at all times, and give a copy to company security.

  • Try to revise your working schedule.

  • Know and understand workplace policies.  Encourage your employer to adopt a policy on domestic violence and/or workplace violence if one does not exist currently.

  • Make sure your employer has an emergency contact person for you. 

  • Discuss with your supervisor any other ways that could help you stay safe at work.

** Remember that Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault is not your fault! **

Resources

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