"Why won't my employee...just leave?"
"Why won't my employee...press charges?"
These are a couple questions I hear sometimes when I talk to employers about domestic violence and its impact on the workplace.
And while I cannot answer those questions for a person who is in the middle of domestic violence (because I am not that person) - I do try to help employers understand that when it comes to leaving, it can be dangerous, because that is when most homicides related to domestic violence occur - when a person is in the midst of leaving or has left the relationship.
That is why at CAEPV and with our member companies, we focus on SAFETY of the employee who is a victim of domestic violence and SAFETY of the workplace and other employees.
And what about pressing charges? While I cannot speak for any particular individual, I think some new research from the Ohio State University might provide some interesting insight.
“The existing belief is that victims recant because the perpetrator threatens her with more violence. But our results suggest something very different,” said Amy Bonomi, lead author of the study and associate professor of human development and family science at Ohio State University.
“Perpetrators are not threatening the victim, but are using more sophisticated emotional appeals designed to minimize their actions and gain the sympathy of the victim. That should change how we work with victims.”
The study appears online in the journal Social Science & Medicine and will appear in a future print edition. To read more about the study, click here.
What do you think of this study? Are you surprised about the tactics used?
It is my hope that perhaps for many who've asked the question "Why doesn't that person press charges?" they have a better understanding of why. And for those of us trying to help, we better understand how we best can.
For information for addressing domestic violence and its impact on the workplace, please visit our website at www.caepv.org.