September 28, 2012
Domestic Violence in the Workplace: We Can Help
Business leaders can have a profound impact on the lives and well-being of their employees while reducing health care costs, absenteeism and lost productivity due to stress and injuries from domestic abuse survivors in their workplaces.
Recognize the Importance for Employer and Employee
While domestic violence is often regarded as a personal matter between family members, the reality is that it directly and negatively impacts workplaces:
- 94% of corporate security directors rank domestic violence as a high security problem at their company.
- Domestic abuse costs employers about $6 billion a year in lost days of work, healthcare expenses and reduced productivity.
- 74% of employed battered women were harassed by their partner while at work. This caused 56% of them to be late for work at least five times a month, 28% to leave early at least five days a month, and 54% to miss at least three full days of work a month.
- As many as 50% of domestic violence victims have lost a job partially due to domestic abuse.
When there is violence in a home, a survivor’s workplace has the potential to be the safest place to turn in times of crisis. However, too often, episodes and symptoms of abuse follow a survivor to work. As workplace violence becomes more common, the costs to employers escalate and the safety of employees is threatened.
Harbor House’s Key Business Initiative, a component of Project Courage, was launched in early 2011 with a goal to reduce violent crime and homicides in local workplaces, improve access to services and reduce employer costs.
Harbor House encourages all business in all of Central Florida to earn their status as a Key Business Partner, a commendation for companies with survivor-friendly and abuse-intolerant policies.
DV in the Workplace: A National Snapshot
Domestic violence affects employees:
- At least 1 million women and 371,000 men are victims of stalking in the U.S. each year. Stalkers often follow the victim to the workplace.
Domestic violence is a security and liability concern:
- Employers who fail to protect their employees from violence at work may be liable. Jury awards for inadequate security suits average $1.2 million nationwide & settlements average $600,000.
Domestic violence is a performance and productivity concern:
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the annual cost of lost productivity due to domestic violence equals $727.8 million, with more than 7.9 million paid workdays lost each year.
Domestic violence is a health care concern:
- Direct medical and mental healthcare services for domestic violence victims amount to nearly $4.1 billion.
Domestic violence is a management issue:
- In a survey of senior corporate executives, 91% said domestic violence affects both the private and working lives of their employees.
- In addition, more than half (56%) were aware of employees who have been affected by domestic violence.
Make a Difference: Become a Key Business Partner
Take action to prevent and respond to domestic violence in your workplace. You don’t have to do it alone. Join our Key Business Initiative and set your company up for success with sound policies and safe, healthy employees.
- Complete Harbor House’s training, which addresses the issue of domestic violence in the workplace as it relates to executive management, human resources, security personnel and others. Staff will learn how to recognize what abuse is, how to respond to it effectively and where to refer victims for help.
- Adopt or create a Domestic Violence Policy for your organization to be incorporated into your employee handbook.
- Assign a point person in your organization with resources that employees can turn to for information.
- Distribute domestic violence and victim resource pamphlets in new employee packets, post fliers with tear-off tabs for the Harbor House hotline in employee restrooms, and participate in community events raising awareness about your organization’s involvement in preventing and addressing domestic violence in the workplace.
Harbor House of Central Florida helps companies become leaders in creating
safer communities through safer workplaces.
For more information about becoming a Key Business Partner, contact
Stephanie Kresl, Community Education Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.