Domestic violence costs employers at least $3 billion-$5 billion a year in lost days of work and reduced productivity. – The Bureau of National Affairs
A woman is stabbed to death by her husband while walking to her car after work. Another woman is paged 25 times by a stalker in a 15-minute period while she is at work, and another woman is shot five times as she is walking into work. These are local examples of how domestic violence permeates the workplace. Unfortunately, many companies do not understand the dynamics of domestic violence and its impact on safety and productivity. Companies that respond inappropriately or not all risk reduced productivity, loss of employees or a violent episode in the workplace. Companies, big or small, that operate without policies and training put themselves at risk for increased absenteeism and lateness, workers’ compensation claims, healthcare costs, and the loss of employees due to flight, incarceration and even death.
The YWCA has received many calls from area employers that find themselves ill-equipped to respond to employee disclosure of domestic violence. We have found that most workplace environments do not have protocols in place to help protect employees from workplace harassment from abusers or to identify warning signs (absenteeism, injuries) that an employee is being abused. Most employers may not be able to respond to the needs of a battered employee in a supportive and helpful manner, nor do they understand the enormous impact domestic violence can have on a company’s productivity and overall environment.
To respond to this need, YWCA Greater Cincinnati has initiated the Domestic Violence Impacts the Workplace Project.
To increase awareness of domestic violence and support for workers experiencing domestic violence challenges
To educate employers about the effects of domestic violence on workers and the workplace
To increase the number of area businesses that implement Domestic Violence in the Workplace Protocol
To increase corporate sponsorship and support of social programming within the community
To create a safe, violence-free and supportive workplace environment for every employee
Domestic violence isn’t just a “domestic” issue; it doesn’t just happen at home. It affects employers, co-workers, family members, friends, and even strangers. When well-educated employers help women in danger, they also help themselves.
Where can you go for help?
The YWCA provides services to corporations, agencies, and professionals through training and consultation activities that promote effective responses to domestic violence, including:
Technical assistance to area companies experiencing domestic violence in the workplace
Policy and procedures consultation with area businesses/organizations in human resources, security, and legal liability
Training and conferences for healthcare professionals, law enforcement, clergy, and educational and social agencies
Publication and distribution of Domestic Violence Impacts the Workplace Resource Brochure: “Employers Principles: Attributes of a comprehensive and compassionate workplace response to domestic violence.”
For more information, please call the YWCA Domestic Violence Employer Assistance Program at 513-361-2144.