Why am I sad? Because we received another inquiry this morning from a company about addressing domestic violence as a workplace issue...because an employee had been killed in a murder-suicide by an intimate partner.
This is not how I want to do my job. I want to help employers with resources and tools to address domestic violence as a workplace issue BEFORE a precious life is lost....not after. And I know that no employer wants to make this call either....if they had known, or had any idea...they would have done something proactive and preventative at the workplace. (Granted this is no guarantee that life will not be lost, but it can certainly do a lot to raise awareness and provide more resources and tools...and can help with the safety of the workplace.)
The difficulty is this...it is very hard for employers to "see" or understand that domestic violence might be impacting their particular workplaces....until it does. We can share statistics and warning signs and sample policies and all of the information available on our website at www.caepv.org ...but if an employer does think that is likely to impact their workforce...they won't act.
It doesn't matter what "kind" of workforce you have - or what industry - you name it, domestic violence is impacting the workforce. Banking, retail, human services, telecommunications, insurance, healthcare, faith community, education, manufacturing.....you name it, it is there. (If you think there is a place it is not, I would love to have that discussion with you.)
So please....take a moment to consider that:
- 21% of full-time employed adults are victims of domestic violence
- 64% of them say their work was significantly impacted by the abuse
- The annual cost of lost productivity due to domestic violence is estimated as $727.8 million with over 7.9 million paid workdays lost per year
- Domestic violence coming to the workplace accounts for 24% of workplace violence incidents
You can find more statistical information at http://www.caepv.org/getinfo/facts_stats.php .
But please -- don't let one of your employees (or your workplace) be a statistic because you haven't considered what you can do proactively to address domestic violence at the workplace.
Because it can - and does -- happen anywhere. To anyone. Including to people who work at places like yours.