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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.

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Why It Is Important

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.
  • It is estimated that 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 due, at least in part, 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 escalates 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.

We have begun to work with local employers throughout the Pine Castle community and Central Florida to implement domestic abuse workplace safety policies, train employees and establish a company go-to person in the organization to be familiar with available resources.

By training HR, facilities, security and general staff on how to recognize abuse, respond to it correctly and effectively and refer survivors to appropriate assistance, the Initiative hopes to assist people in knowing what to do should they come across domestic abuse in the workplace.

How To Become a Key Business

Harbor House encourages all business in Project Courage Communities and all of Central Florida to earn their status as a Key Business, a commendation for being a company with survivor-friendly and abuse-intolerant protocols and procedures.

How can your company become a Key Business?

    1. Complete training for human resources staff and security personnel; learn how to recognize what abuse is, how to respond to the abused and the abuser, and where to refer the survivors, family, friends and abuser for help and guidance.
    2. Adopt or create a Domestic Violence Policy for your organization to be incorporated into your employee handbook (policy provided at no cost).
    3. Assign a point person in your organization with resources that employees can turn to for information.
    4. Business leaders to take actions including putting domestic violence and victim resource pamphlets in new employee packets; post flyers with tear-off tabs for the hotline in employee restrooms; participate in community events raising awareness to your organization’s involvement in the Purple Door Project.

These three steps, facilitated by Harbor House and our professional partners, help companies become leaders in creating safer communities through safer workplaces.

Our Key Businesses So Far

Harbor House congratulates our Key Business Partners:

    All About Beautiful Smiles
    BBA Aviation
    BETA Center
    BlackRain Partners
    Bridges of America
    Centra Care – Florida Hospital Urgent Care
    Children’s Kingdom
    Coaching by Catherine
    Cornerstone Hospice & Palliative Care
    Drop of Love Child Care II
    Emmanuel Seventh-day Adventist Church
    First Care Chiropractic Center
    Foundation for Life Ministries, Inc.
    GLBT Community Center (The Center)
    Goodwill Industries of Central Florida
    Intervention Services
    Jill S. Schwartz & Associates, P.A.
    Lakeside Behavioral Healthcare
    The Law Office of Kaufman, Englett, and Lynd (KEL Attorneys)
    Office Depot Business Services Division
    Optimal Phone Interpreters
    Orange County Corrections Dept.
    Orange County Health Department
    Orlando Health
    Quest, Inc.
    Rhodes+Brito Architect
    Restoration Ministries for Women, Inc.
    Signature Flight
    South Orlando Seventh-day Adventist Church
    Southern Auto Finance Company
    St. Mary’s Preschool
    Storybook School
    The Take Home Chef
    Turning Point of Central Florida, Inc.
    Universal Orlando
    Westgate Resorts Foundation
    WKMG Local 6


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