Friday, December 18, 2009

Domestic Violence and the Holidays: What Do You Say?

So -- it's the holidays and you will be around family and friends that you may not usually see. And what if you see something that you are concerned about? What if you think someone you care about may not be in a safe relationship?

Here is the big difficult question:"What do you say to someone if you are concerned that they may be in an abusive relationship?"

Here is one pretty good way that I've found to talk with someone -- granted this is my style and everyone has a different style, but it goes something like this: "You know I really care a lot about you. I've noticed you haven't been yourself lately, and that (and you would fill in here the other things you've noticed -- like that the person seems afraid of their boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife, has unexplained injuries, seems isolated, etc.). I would rather be wrong or have you mad at me for asking than ever have anything bad happen to you so I just have to check in with you and ask -- are you safe in your relationship?"

Because really, if you think about it, that is the point, isn't it? You WOULD rather be embarrassed or feel uncomfortable asking, or be wrong rather than have something bad happen to a friend of yours and not say something.

And -- so what if your friend tells you that he or she is fine?

Then say "Hey, that is great. But if you ever decide you aren't ok, I want you to know my door is always open." And you may also want to add, "And if you were ever concerned that I was not safe, I would hope you would ask me the same question, right?"

Because the point is, if we really have one another's backs, we should be able to ask each other these questions. And then if you can, you may want to check in again with your family member or friend again in a few weeks just to see how things are going.

People don't always tell you right away when they are in a relationship that is not safe or good for them. It takes time and it is not easy.

For help or assistance anytime, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or check out Or for teens, check out the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline -- on the web at or at 1-866-331-9474.

It never hurts to ask -- and it may help change or save the life of someone you care about.

(And survivors....any comments or additional suggestions you have are most welcome! You know best what is helpful!)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

"Addressing Domestic Violence in the Workplace: An EAP/Employer Partnership" Webinar - Audio/Video Recording Now Available

Downloadable materials from the webinar are available as well.

A recent survey of CEOs found that most believe domestic violence to be a serious issue, yet 71% did not believe it is a problem in their company. The reality is that approximately 21% of full-time working adults report being a victim of domestic violence. (2005 National Survey, CAEPV)

This webinar examined: current research findings discussing the experience of abused women who sought help with EAPs, examples of EAP collaboration with Human Resources, Employee Relations and Corporate Security to address specific incidents of domestic violence, and a detailed case study of one employer's response to domestic violence.

Presenters were:

• Bob McCullough, Manager Critical Incidents/Workplace Supports, Magellan Health Services
• Keshia Pollack, Department of Public Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
• John Cantrell, Assistant Director, Corporate Security and Investigations, CIGNA Corporation
• Kerrie Loyde, Senior Manager, Global Employee Relations, Gap Inc.

The S2 - Safer, Smarter Workplace project is presented by the Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Workplace Violence Costs U.S. Businesses $70 Billion Per Year - More Than 70% Have No Policy To Address Workplace Violence

Did you know more than 70 percent of U.S. businesses have no policy or formal program in place to address workplace violence? However, violence costs businesses $70 billion a year, with $64.4 billion attributed to lost workplace productivity.

In the latest HRmarketer Market Share podcast, Kim Wells, executive director of the Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence (CAEPV), provides insight on the importance of providing a formal program to address the affects of violence in the workplace.

CAEPV is a leading force in the fight against domestic violence. It is the only national organization of its kind founded by business leaders and focused on the workplace. Since 1995, the Alliance has brought together dozens of progressive companies who exchange information, collaborate on projects and use their influence to instigate change.

Wells suggests formalizing a program to keep the workplace safe, whether the violence is related to domestic or workplace issues. Components of a program include, formalizing a policy, creating a response team, building awareness and educating staff on the realities and affects of workplace violence.

"It sounds really simple to say ‘don't think it can't happen here,'" said Wells. "However, stop thinking it ‘can't happen here' because as soon as you do then you will start making plans to address potential issues."

Wells shared her insight during an interview with's president, Kevin Grossman. The interview can be heard on HRmarketer's HR Market Share podcast by visiting HRmarketer's blog. Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes or to access it via Hipcast.

HRmarketer's HR Market Share podcast covers hot topics in the HR space; recent mergers, acquisitions and earnings; recent HR supplier news; what's working in marketing and PR and what's not; interviews with HR suppliers and other marketing, PR or business thought leaders.

About ( is a division of Fisher Vista LLC, a marketing software and services firm focusing exclusively on the human capital industry. Through its marketing and public relations services, the company has worked with nearly 700 human resource and employee benefit service providers, helping them generate publicity, website traffic, sales leads and improved SEO.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

"It's Time to Talk Day" - December 3, 2009

The Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence (CAEPV) is participating in Liz Claiborne Inc.’s sixth annual It’s Time to Talk Day -- a day dedicated to ensuring that Americans speak-up about a subject that most people simply prefer not to discuss — domestic violence. We are proud to have been involved in this event since the beginning!

It’s Time to Talk Day events will be held nationwide, including at the Department of Justice in Washington, DC with Attorney General Eric Holder and Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

CAEPV will be participating in a “Talk Radio Row” on domestic violence at Liz Claiborne headquarters in New York. Major partners for this year’s event include The Department of Justice, CBS Evening News, REDBOOK, Seventeen,, one, MTV, the Joyful Heart Foundation, Talkers Magazine and Talk Radio News Service. For more information visit

And don't forget to take a moment to talk in your life!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

The "Get Inspired! Project" - Talking About Domestic Violence and the Workplace

I was honored to be interviewed by Toni Reece, for the "Get Inspired! Project" -- the interview is #63 of 365 interviews that will be done - one each day -- of people who talk about how they are inspired and how they hope to inspire others. My interview can be found at

Of course I talked about domestic violence and its impact on the workplace...and about what people can do to make a difference...and about the amazing people I get to work with each and every day who are so committed to making this issue "everybody's business."

The entire project is really cool -- check it out at -- and get inspired!