Domestic Violence- Insights

Domestic violence often follows an employee to work through harassing phone calls and letters, cyber stalking, and visits by the abuser. The workplace may often be only place where the perpetrator can gain access to the victim. In fact, they often deliberately abuse their victims during work hours because they know that victims fear losing their jobs if their employers realize what is happening. Acts of domestic violence in the workplace pose a threat not only to the victim, but also to co-workers and customers. Our website provides info about domestic

Unfortunately, in spite of the fact that the U.S. Department of Justice recently proclaimed the workplace as the most dangerous place in America, employers have been the last to recognize that domestic abuse doesn’t always stay at home. In fact, the corporate world has traditionally remained mute on the subject. While such silence may imply a lack of compassion, it is more often due to an unawareness of the problem, discomfort with asking probing questions when suspicions do arise, or the mindset that what takes place in someone’s private life is just that. However, the economic toll domestic violence takes on American businesses is finally getting senior management’s attention. For example:
1. Businesses lose an estimated $727.8 million in productivity and more than 7.9 million paid work days annually because of domestic violence, according to March 2003 figures from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
2. Fifty percent of domestic violence victims who are working women miss 3 days of work a month as a result of the violence, and 64 percent were periodically late.
3. Twenty percent of working battered women eventually loses their job because of it.
4. Ninety six percent of battered working women experienced problems at work because of the abuse.
5. Seventy five percent employed battered women used company time to deal with their violence because they could not do so at home.

Having senior management’s awareness and support of the need to develop an action plan for domestic violence spillover at work is a critical first step; knowing what actions to take is another.