Supporting Employees who have Experienced Domestic Violence

Millions of individuals around the world are victims of domestic violence. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and it’s vital for employers and community leaders to understand the effects of domestic violence and be aware of the resources available to those who’ve experienced it.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1 in 9 men and 1 in 4 women have experienced some form of domestic violence, and on an average day, there are over 20,000 calls made to domestic violence hotlines around the US. Domestic violence can have an impact on an employee’s morale, productivity, and stress level, leading to issues in the workplace. Employee security on the job is also a significant concern in domestic violence cases.

As employers, it’s important to recognize the signs of domestic violence and have resources available to your team. If you suspect that an employee is being abused, it’s important to treat them with respect and compassion and consider accommodations such as allowing them to seek out help during working hours, modification of their work schedule, or changing a workstation. Confidentiality is also a must when advocating for victims, who may feel intimidated if they don’t feel their privacy is protected.

Many tools available to workplaces can help them address domestic violence. Along with providing support for victims, implementing emergency protocols and preparing a plan for what to do if an individual reports abuse, it may also be helpful to post contact information for local and national domestic violence hotlines and services in places that are easy to access, such as employee restrooms or break areas.

Domestic Violence is such a prevalent concern that it’s vital that businesses are prepared to address it. During the month of October and all year long, vigilant businesses can keep their employees safe, healthy, and free from violence.