Respond to Domestic Violence
If you are a victim:
You are not alone. Check for domestic violence service providers in your community such as state organizations and other programs that can help, including the National Domestic Violence Hotline 800/799-SAFE.
If you are abusive:
Domestic violence is a learned behavior, not a sickness. If you are engaging in any form of emotional, physical, and/or sexual abuse against your partner or family, it does not mean that you are a bad person, but it does mean that you must stop your abusive behavior.
You may feel a lot of anger and tension. However, you can learn to deal with that anger and tension, without resorting to physical, emotional, or sexual violence. Acknowledging your actions is the first step.
If you are a colleague of a victim or abuser:
This is your business. Domestic violence affects everyone — victims, abusers, bystanders. Gone are the days of thinking that domestic violence is a family problem, one to be addressed behind closed doors. As friends and co-workers we cannot sit back in silence because they do not know what to do. Each of us must be alert and prepared to respond when domestic violence comes into the workplace.
As a concerned friend or co-worker, being willing and well-intentioned is good, but being prepared to offer the kind of help people need in these situations is necessary.
Even if the employee’s manager seems to be working with the situation, friends and co-workers can often help in ways the manager cannot. You may be able to approach difficult but necessary topics in an appropriate way and the employee may find it easier to discuss these topics with you than with the supervisor.
If you are an employer of a victim or abuser:
If you are an employer...This is your business. Domestic violence spilling into the workplace is a form of workplace violence. Annually there are 13,000 recognized incidents of domestic violence in the workplace.
The impact of domestic violence on the workplace includes lost wages, absenteeism, and non-productvity of, not only victims nad perpetrators, but also co-workers.
As with other forms of workplace violence, it is important to take a proactive approach to the issue. Information about how to recognize domestic violence, respond with appropriate policies, procedures, and sensitivity can be found here.
Your responsibility is not to "fix" the problem. Your responsibility is to realize that there is a problem and to work within your role as an employer.