At Genesis, we know that domestic violence is not a private matter that unfolds behind closed doors. In fact, many women who are in abusive relationships are also working women. Domestic violence currently affects one in every three women with over 96 percent of victims experiencing issues at work. Furthermore, domestic violence is costing corporate America over $8 billion annually through unplanned absences, sick days, increasing medical benefits and more. Employers have a unique and powerful opportunity to help the women that work for them – though many times victims may experience issues at work, a women’s work space is often the safest space she has. When businesses understand this and offer a culture that allows for safe disclosure, it can make the difference between life and death.
We know that it takes a community coming together to end domestic violence. Providing a culture of understanding can lead to increased employee morale, and we also know that safety comes before productivity. Below are a few simple steps your business can take to become a safe harbor for those experiencing domestic abuse.
Create a Safe Place
Show you understand by establishing a disclosure-friendly policy. This will allow employees to feel free to discuss what is happening and have a plan of action when the need arises.
Provide educational opportunities for leadership and staff on the warning signs and how to help. Check out the Be Her First Step webpage as a resource for education.
Take Inventory of Workplace Security
More than 32 women are killed annually at their work, with most of the deaths occurring in the parking lot. Know what your security weaknesses are and make that information readily available to victims that disclose abuse.
Partner with Local Domestic Violence Agencies
Creating a partnership helps bring education and awareness into the workplace and is a natural connecting point for victim referral.
When she makes the choice to leave the abusive relationship, she often leaves everything behind except her work, making the workplace a very vulnerable environment. Domestic abuse may be what she is experiencing, but it does not define her. Your business can have a life changing impact!
If you would like more information on how your business can partner with Genesis, contact Julia Palmer at firstname.lastname@example.org.