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Victims at Work. Employers confront domestic violence Violence at Home.

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Presentation on theme: "Victims at Work. Employers confront domestic violence Violence at Home."— Presentation transcript:

1 Victims at Work. Employers confront domestic violence Violence at Home.

2 Training Team Deborah Clubb, Executive Director, Memphis Area Women’s Council Dr. Carol Danehower Charesse DeClue Carol Ann Wardell University of Memphis Catherine Clubb-Brown Splash Creative

3 Domestic Violence Employer Education Project “This project is funded under an agreement with the State of Tennessee, Department of Finance and Administration, Office of Criminal Justice Programs and is supported by Award #9779 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, USDOJ. ”

4 Session Goal To help employers and employees recognize and understand the devastating and costly effects of domestic violence. To equip employers and employees with tools to respond appropriately and compassionately.

5 Workplaces Respond to Domestic and Sexual Violence: A National Resource Center Much of this training session is based on information and guidelines provided by the website of this center. “Workplaces Respond” was established in 2009 and was funded by the US Department of Justice.

6 Before we start, you should know… Locally the Memphis Police Dept. handled 22,000 domestic violence assaults in 2010. 22,000 -- that is an average of 62 cases every day, seven days a week. Another 4,000 police reports documented vandalism or burglary related to domestic violence. The Shelby County District Attorney’s office reviewed 6,180 DV cases in 2010 and already had seen nearly 3,200 by the end of May 2011!

7 Before we start, you should know… Nationally, the intersection of domestic violence and the workplace is receiving much attention…we need this attention in Memphis! Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence, Recent conference in Atlanta, “When Domestic Violence Goes to Work” sponsored by SHRM-Atlanta & Partnership Against Domestic Violence,

8 Domestic Violence in the Workplace… what do you already know? Let’s take a quiz. Click on this link before you go any further to test your knowledge. knowledge knowledge

9 Domestic Violence is a Business Issue…. It’s a matter of MONEY! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates the annual cost of lost productivity due to domestic violence is $727.8 million (1995 dollars) The Tennessee Economic Council on Women estimates that domestic violence costs Tennessee approximately $174 million per year

10 Domestic Violence is a Business Issue…. It’s a matter of safety and possible legal liability! OSHA requires that employers provide a safe and healthful work environment for employees “Personal Relationship Violence” is noted as a Type IV workplace violence by OSHA Employers who fail to protect their employees at work may be liable – awards average $300,000 to $1.2 million

11 Domestic Violence is a Business Issue…. And it is reaching epidemic proportions! According to a 2006 study from the U.S. Bureau of Statistics, nearly 1 in 4 large private industry establishments reported at least one incident of domestic violence in the past year 94% of corporate security directors rank domestic violence as a problem

12 Domestic Violence is a Business Issue…. And it is reaching epidemic proportions! A 2005 phone survey of 1200 full time American employees found that 44% experienced domestic violence’s effect on the workplace In the same survey, 21% identified themselves as victims of domestic violence In Memphis, domestic violence is the ONLY crime statistic that hasn’t decreased in recent years

13 What is Domestic Violence? Domestic violence is about power and control – one person’s need and determination to dominate another person – Can be physical and sexual abuse – Can also be verbal, emotional and financial abuse Domestic violence law covers the relationships in a household or family including – spouses – boy- or girl-friends – roommates – uncle and nephew – grandson and grandmother

14 What is Domestic Violence? Under Tennessee law, it’s physical injury or attempting to inflict physical injury on an adult or minor – Including stalking and sexual assault – Or putting them in fear of physical harm Stalking includes – Harassment or unconsented contact – Following a person or showing up at his/her house or job – Calling or leaving items on their property It includes harm to or fear of harm to one’s animals.

15 Who is Abused and Who Abuses? Although both males and females experience domestic violence, women overwhelmingly are victims of intimate partner violence. Domestic violence cuts across all racial, educational, occupational, religious, age and income groups. Certain attributes (alcohol and drug use, low income, and violence experienced as a child) are strongly correlated with domestic violence.

16 Why don’t DV victims “just leave?” Economic or emotional dependency Children Believe they have no place to go Low self esteem Fear of the unknown Don’t realize that what is happening to them is “abuse” Religious/cultural beliefs Other reasons…

17 What can employers do? “Recognize, Respond, and Refer”

18 RECOGNIZE Possible Signs of DV Victims Tardiness or unexplained absences Anxiety, lack of concentration, changes in job performance A tendency to remain isolated Disruptive phone calls, emails, visits from intimate partner Sudden requests to be moved from public locations Frequent financial problems indicating a lack of access to money Unexplained bruises or injuries Inappropriate clothes/accessories Sudden changes of address Time off requested for court appearances

19 RESPOND Tips for Effective Workplace Education Introduce training or educational efforts to demonstrate support for the issue Review the following prior to training to see how they may be improved – personnel policies and procedures – benefits – employee services – security mechanisms Provide lists of referral resources during training

20 RESPOND Tips for Effective Workplace Education Make training events mandatory when feasible, especially for managers. But, allow employees who request it a chance to opt out. – The training may be emotionally overwhelming for some employees who have been traumatized by violence in the past Allow employees to leave the training if necessary – Have trained people (domestic violence counselors) available Acknowledge that, although women may be more at risk, anyone may be a victim and anyone may be a batterer. Avoid statements that could be perceived as blaming men.

21 RESPOND Develop a workplace policy about domestic violence! Model policies exist! Workplaces Respond to Domestic & Sexual Violence: A National Resource Center The Safe@Work Coalition wheredoistart.htm wheredoistart.htm

22 RESPOND Secure Your Workplace Keep a copy of restraining orders that reference worksites Help abused employee develop a personal and work safety plan Move abused employee’s work area away from doors, windows, lobbies, etc. Ask for a picture of abuser, description of car, license number Alter victim’s work schedule Save threatening emails or voicemail messages

23 RESPOND When and How to Talk to your Employees? This is not as hard as it may seem at first. The Department of Justice, through its “Workplaces Respond” project, has provided an interactive training exercise to help you know how to handle this situation. Take a few minutes to go through this online training exercise by clicking on and-training/interact

24 REFER Internal Source: Your own Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) Make sure EAP services are well known and communicated clearly to employees on a regular basis.

25 REFER Community Resources: A number of agencies and faith- based groups offer services for DV victims in the Memphis area. Make your employees aware of what’s available and provide them with contact information. Longtime DV service providers include Memphis Area Legal Services, Exchange Club Family Center, YWCA of Greater Memphis and soon the Family Safety Center. For a complete and updated list, go to

26 So remember… Recognize. Respond. Refer. Let’s keep our community and our employees safe.

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